The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

By Lee Revis
Editor, Valdez Star 

Budget policy statement for 2018 approved by city council

Document outlines philosophy and principals ahead of budget process


August 24, 2017

City officials are gearing up for budget approval season and passed the administration's budget policy statement.

"It captured a lot of the things we had in there and a path foreword," for city department heads to craft their budget for next year said Nate Smith, mayor pro tempore, during the Aug. 15 meeting of the city council.

During discussions before passing the statement, council member Jim Shirrell asked why revenues from the city's one-time lawsuit settlement received in 2015 - $44,345,314 at the time - were not included in the statement according to a stated council agreement keep tabs on the big cash infusion.

"In essence, to be able to track the use of those dollars,'' Shirrell said.

Finance director Brian Carlson said the monies and accounts are under scrutiny and being finessed before the final budget is presented to council.

"I mean to roll that into the conversation," on fund balances Carlson said.

Last year, the 2017 proposed budget was $53,334,314.

Patty Relay, director of the Valdez Museum asked if city administration would be issuing a memo to Community Service Organizations, outlining this year's policy towards funding, which last year totaled $2.4 million.

Relay said costs have risen since last year and council should not be surprised if CSOs asked for more funding this year than last year.

"We haven't gotten with a finalized path forward," Smith said.

Council member Chris Moulton was more blunt, and told Relay that from his point of view, CSOs should not ask for additional funds from the city.

As presented to council, the budget policy statement identifies top council goals, which this year include completing the construction of the new boat harbor, moving forward with public safety infrastructure, flood mitigation and resolving the Aleutian Village housing issues, among other stated goals.

Official budget hearings will begin in October.


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