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Campbellsburg city moves from red to black in 2018 budget

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By Christopher Brooke

 

Belt-tightening in Campbellsburg allowed city officials to change the budget status for the 2017 fiscal year from deficit to surplus, according to Mayor Shelley Noe’s budget message.

“Because of the diligence of the employees of the city who have carefully monitored the budgets of their departments over the past year, we are beginning the upcoming with an unexpected surplus,” she said at the May 15 Campbellsburg City Council meeting. 

Work to balance out the city’s finances actually began in January, she noted. Among the changes made by the council and its committees included revamping the city’s contract with the Campbellsburg Fire Department.

Credit for a lot of the city’s fiscal improvements goes to different department heads, Noe said after the meeting.

“I can attribute the surplus simply to the clerk, maintenance and police department really, really minding their budgets and only making necessary purchases,” she said. “We have not spent anything for anything, other than simply meeting our needs. We’re eliminating a lot of things that may not have been so necessary.”

Significant cuts came out of the administrative line item in the budget, for example, she said. That total was trimmed back from $45,000 to $28,000 in the latest proposal.

“Within the walls of city hall, we turned up the thermostat a couple of degrees,” Noe said. “We’re not spending our money. We’re spending the citizens’ money and for that reason we’re very mindful of what we spend.”

The other departments have experienced some tightening up, too.

“We are fortunate that [Public Works Director] Gabe [O’Nan] does a lot of the work on site, like repair his tractor,” Noe said. “He pretty much orders the part and does the repair himself.”

Noe estimated $5,000 was cut out of maintenance and police.

After a committee met with representatives of the fire department, they decided the city will temporarily hold off on contributing for the next fire truck purchase, Noe said. Because the Campbellsburg Fire Department acquired a ladder truck from the La Grange Fire Department around three years ago, firefighters don’t have an immediate need for a new truck. 

While the city will hold off on setting aside that $10,000 annually for a new fire truck, the local government will provide the fire department with $20,000 to cover its operating expenses, she added. The city will resume making the fire truck fund contribution as soon as possible.

At the same time, city officials expect to see a little more revenue coming in after amending the business license fee, Noe said. The new fee schedule includes business license fees of $100 for those employers with 10 or fewer employees; $125 for those with between 10 and 19 employees; $150 for those with 20 to 39 employees; and $250 for those with more than 40 employees.

Additionally, the business license fee also applies to those doing seasonal work, including lawn care, landscaping, produce sales and others. That license costs $25.

The city will not ignore the projects that need to be done, Noe said.    

Even as the city holds spending down, exciting things are still happening in Campbellsburg, Noe noted. The council approved a new fee structure in order to make the Campbellsburg Community Center more affordable to rent.

Children in particular will get to enjoy more services at the Campbellsburg Community Center as both the summer feeding program and the Henry County Public Library will set up shop there.

“We’re ramping up things at the community center, offering programs,” Noe said. “Library programming will be starting in June. We’re trying to focus on things that are giving back to the community. So the citizens can see some real value for their tax dollars.”