City commissioners hit the streets for budget discussions

City budgeting can be a daunting process. City Commissioners went on a walking tour today to assess some of the improvements that are being recommended for next year.

Capital budgets, operating budgets – fiscal meetings can go on and on. To spice things up a bit, city commissioners took to the streets; leaving the traditional office meeting behind in favor of seeing first hand what improvements are needed.

“It was an opportunity for some of the department heads to show us some of their concerns and some of their needs so that when we have a conversation about some of these items we know what they are talking about,” said Don Ryan, City Commissioner.

“They way the budget process works is each of the city departments will develop a wish list of what they see their upcoming requirements are for the year. That list will be massaged down and defined a bit better by the city manager and then eventually come in front of the city commission for funding,” said Frederick Stonehouse, Mayor Pro Tem.

“The meeting and tour started here at Lakeview Arena. As one of the cities most used facilities, they had a few items on their wish list as well,” said ABC 10 Reporter, Danielle Davis.

After taking a tour of Lakeview Arena, and discussing the not so comfortable bleachers and issues with the Zamboni, we got as far as the parking lot.

“It’s just a matter of in some spots the parking area is in bad shape and needs some improvements,” continued Ryan.

Then it was time to head to our first stop, the water treatment plant.

“We have water filtration process which uses equipment that is going to have to be replaced, we have equipment that has a life cycle and we are getting to the end of that life cycle,” continued Ryan.

Following a short visit to the city services building we made the trip over to our final destination – City Hall, where there are plans in the works to upgrade the infrastructure. This is the second year the city commission tour has taken place and they’re hoping it’s just as successful in assessing the city’s needs.

“Last year it was terrific, it gave us tremendous insight, it made the budget process go much smoother than it had in previous years,” continued Stonehouse.

Although the road tour is over, the paperwork is just beginning. Departments will present their recommendations to the city council next Wednesday.