City council tweaks mayor’s proposed budget

The Lincoln City council made some tweaks to Mayor Beutler's proposed budget for next year at their meeting Monday night.

The first change means restoring one more public service officer.  The mayor initially proposed getting rid of all of them and privatizing the downtown area PSO's.  He then added three of those jobs back and now, the council wants to add another one back.

Another change means setting aside some money for a community center.  City Council Chair John Spatz says, “we want to appropriate some funds to devote to Willard Community Center, so that facility can be able to stay on board for at least six months and we can work out a transition plan for public financing to private financing.”

StarTran travelers won't see their $7.50 ticket go up to $10, instead the mayor's office recommended cutting one field supervisor.

Parks Director Lynn Johnson says he's okay with the mayor's plan to cut the city forester's job and make a new community forestry planner.  It would save close to $50,000 and he says even if the money is restored,the position won't be.  “It's a reorganization of the parks department and right now, the city council is going to support the parks department and there hasn't been any recommendations to change that at this time.”

While this budget hasn't even gotten the final go ahead, it's next year's budget and the potential to raise property taxes that's being talked about.  Councilman Spatz blames that on the state mandated wage and benefit increase.  “Unless people talk to their state senators to address some of these state laws that mandate automatic increases, this is going to be something we're going to deal with unless we see an increase in sales tax revenue, property taxes or evaluation.”

Councilman Jon Camp made a motion at Tuesday's meeting to study privatizing the ambulance force. which is how it use to be about ten years ago.  That motion failed, but he might bring it up in the future.

If you want your voice to be heard, the city council will be having a public hearing on the budget August 9th, followed by a vote August 11th.