Police, library funds change little in 2011-12

Next year, Sweet Home police spending will decrease slightly this year, while the library budget will increase by about $10,000.

The city Budget Committee reviewed the two funds during its meeting on May 4.

In the proposed budget for 2011-12, the police budget is reduced from $3.35 million to $2.63 million, reflecting the reduction in carryover, which was spent this year to pay off general obligation bonds used to fund the construction of the Police Services Building a decade early.

The Police Department will begin with $824,000 carried over, compared to the 2010-11 budget with a $1.4 million carryover.

Property tax revenue will decrease by about $180,000 to $1.66 million.

Police spending decreases from a budgeted $1,912,782 in 2010-11 to $1,900,087 in 2011-12, while the dispatch center decreases from $477,234 to $469,550.

The budget reflects the reduction of the school resource officer position, which was discontinued in December, said Police Chief Bob Burford.

The major question mark in the budget is binding arbitration on the city and the police union. The city has budgeted based on its offer. If the union prevails in arbitration, the city will have to find a way to increase police funding.

Based on the city’s offer, the cost of personnel will decrease from a budgeted $1.65 million to $1.6 million. Materials and services increases by about $50,000, much of that in combined lease payments for patrol cars purchased on a three-year cycle, an expense shifted from another part of the budget. Capital outlays are reduced by $18,000 in the current budget to $6,400 in the 2011-12 budget. In 2009-10, the city spent $68,000 in capital outlays to pay for patrol cars.

The dispatch center’s budget for personnel decreases from $431,000 to $423,000, while capital outlays and materials and services remain approximately the same, at $4,440 and $42,000 respectively.

Library expenditures will increase about $10,000, the majority of the increase reflected in the cost of the library director. Leona McCann just retired from the position at three-quarters time. The new director is budgeted as full time.

Library assistant costs are down from $64,000 to $60,000, with one of three assistants working half-time. The building department will share a clerk half-time with the library to fill an assistant vacancy.

Materials and services increase from $69,000 to $71,000, reflecting increases in expenditures for technical services to maintain the library’s computer system. Technical services increase from $4,000 to $8,000.

Capital outlays remain budgeted at $1,000 to replace furniture and equipment if necessary.

The Budget Committee meets next at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the City Hall Annex, 1140 12th Ave., to review Public Works budgets and likely decide whether to approve a budget recommendation for final adoption by the City Council before the beginning of the 2011-12 fiscal year on July 1.