'17 annual budget up for approval

Cary Ashby • Dec 20, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Norwalk city council could approve the annual budget during tonight’s meeting.

A second reading will be before council members.

“We have a pretty healthy fund balance right now,” Norwalk Safety-Service Director Dan Wendt said. “To be honest, we are going to be fine for a few years. We’re not predicting problems in the future.”

However, the city expects utility costs and consumer products to go up.

“We expect that to continue,” Wendt said.

In 2017, the expected revenue is $20,816 million and the expenditures are $22,814,587.50.

“We don’t expect our departments to spend every penny in every line item. That helps with a healthy carryover,” Wendt said. 

“We really picked it apart. We made a lot of cuts. We scrutinized a lot of capital expenditures,” the safety-service director added.

The city is trying to avoid asking council for “supplementals” (additional requests for money in the budget), Wendt said, and wants departments to extend the life of their resources instead of purchasing new equipment.

Also on tonight’s agenda is the reciprocity tax (aka income tax credit). Residents have informed council members and city administrators that they are “overwhelmingly opposed” to the proposed tax change; the city had presented it as a way to raise funds in the future.

“(Councilwoman) Deb Lucal was the only council member to vote for it,” Wendt said. “In my opinion, a vote against reciprocity is a vote against fire and police.”

Council held a special finance committee meeting before last week’s regular session. Committee members then tabled the issue.

“Nobody wanted to discuss it,” Wendt said. “The administration feels this is disappointing. I expect this to stay on the table and it will die at the end of the year.”

Norwalk Mayor Rob Duncan was out of town for a family issue Monday.

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