Mallory Herrmann

The finance and budget committee of the city council held a special meeting this week to discuss an amendment to the city’s 2018-2019 general fund budget. The amendment would revise the authorized expenditures to fund certain expansion requests. At the time that the city council approved the general fund budget for this fiscal year, there was a set of items that the budget committee chose to set aside for future consideration.

City Manager Steve Arbo explained that of that group of budget items, he had worked with staff to determine priority one-time costs (that is, items that would not require ongoing funding this fiscal year), items that currently have revenue available to fund, or items that have funding available outside of general fund. Items that did not meet these criteria were not brought forward for consideration at this time.

Those items included funding for additional building inspectors to be employed by the city; a rate structure study for a possible new stormwater management funding mechanism that would generate revenue for ongoing maintenance and compliance costs; ambulance and equipment upgrades for the fire department; fans for the city’s public works maintenance facility that would improve air circulation, HVAC efficiency, and working conditions for staff; and additional personnel, mechanic computer stations, and truck post lifts to increase efficiency and capacity for the fleet department.

The amendment includes an additional subset of line items that would be designated as approved for funding only if additional revenue becomes available.

The committee recommended the ordinance for approval by the city council, with Committee Chair Bob Johnson voting against.

The committee will also recommend approving a city expenditure not to exceed $504,000 for a new Computer Aided Dispatch/Records Management System (CAD/RMS) and mobile platform from Zuercher Technologies LLC. The new system will provide an upgrade in the service currently used by the police department and allow for upcoming compliance requirements from state and federal agencies, including the FBI.

“We’re just not getting from our current system what we need,” Travis Forbes, chief of police, said, describing the current technology as antiquated.

The five-year contract includes maintenance support through the first year. The department hopes to have the new system implemented by the end of the calendar year.
The committee voted unanimously to recommend approval of the expenditure to the full council.