|Clarkdale caps its $10.4M budget|
|Written by Staff Reporter|
|Wednesday, 16 June 2010 08:00|
Clarkdale expects to spend $10.4 million in 2010-11, a slight decrease from the previous year, but will be able to maintain services at current levels without raising sales or property tax, Town Clerk and Finance Director Kathy Bainbridge said.
Town Council is expected to approve a preliminary budget Tuesday, June 22, which anticipates more than $12 million in revenue, but limits spending by consolidating staff and using grants and other alternative funding to maintain services, Bainbridge said.
An 80 percent drop in sales tax revenue from construction and a decline in shared tax revenue from the state have forced the town to find innovative ways to preserve services and jobs while staying within its budget, Bainbridge said.
The town already reduced staff costs by 11 percent by eliminating two positions and expects to reduce those costs another 8 percent through attrition. Town staff, most of whom are performing extra jobs in addition to the job they were hired to do, will continue to work a 36-hour work week, she said.
There will be no cost of living or merit pay increases for town staff in 2010-11, Bainbridge said.
Holding the line on taxes is possible because instead of contractors, the town will use existing staff to complete flood control and bond projects and will offset the cost of the projects by using outside
The town will continue to emphasize volunteer recruitment.
“We have such amazing volunteers,” Bainbridge said. “They are really making the difference for us.”
Volunteers help with maintaining town records, assembling council packets, and performing janitorial services, she said.
All town employees, including Town Manager Gayle Mabery, currently take turns emptying trash cans, vacuuming, dusting and cleaning bathrooms at town offices to save money, Bainbridge said.
“To date, a total of 240 work hours have been scheduled,” she said. “Most recently we have received much needed assistance tending to cemetery upkeep as well as maintenance on the Dorothy Benatz Trail, cleaning brush around the pool, sweeping the town campus, assisting with moving items from archives to storage, mopping the clubhouse and weekly building cleaning duties.”
Clarkdale will spend the largest share of its budget, roughly 39 percent, on police protection. Administration costs will take up another 14 percent, she said.
Staff costs have been significantly reduced by consolidation of multiple jobs into a single person. Bainbridge, for example, was hired as town clerk, but now also performs the duties of town finance director.