Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

City Finance Committee to Take Hard Look at Proposed `Bare Bones' Budget

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

City Finance Committee to Take Hard Look at Proposed `Bare Bones' Budget

Article excerpt

A hard look at the proposed 1985-86 "bare bones" Oklahoma City budget will be taken by members of the Oklahoma City Council's finance c ommittee, starting Monday.

The budget, proposed by City Manager Scott Johnson for the fiscal year starting July 1, would be $715,125 less than the current budget. It calls for spending $198.5 million.

The meeting will be the first of a series by the finance committee, headed by Ward 2 Councilman Jack Cornett.

It will make recommendations to the full council, which is expected to adopt a budget on June 18.

The city manager's proposal involves cutting a number of jobs in almost every department. It also suggests the raising of a number of sevice charges.

Operating funds in the proposed budget total $178.164 million, with $20.3 million added for capital improvements.

Federal revenue sharing funds are shrinking, Johnson said, and are expected to be completely abolished at the end of the next federal fiscal year on Oct. 1, 1986.

This has brought the city $8 million to $10 million a year for capital improvements.

Also to be cut 10 percent are federal commmunity development block funds, plus a 20 percent or more reduction in Urban Mass Transit Administration funds.

Johnson points out that general obligation bond issue funds, last approved in 1976, are depleted, and that the past nine years is the longest period the city has gone without a bond issue since 1896.

Attempts to increase the city sales tax to 3 percent also have failed twice at the voting polls.

The council must make a decision on solid waste pickup fees. The service, which is now subsidized by $800,000 from the general fund, must either be cut from two days a week to one, said Johnson, orthe fees raised from $5.74 monthly to $6.18 for curbside service and from $8.99 to $10.82 per month for house-side service.

A recommendation is made in the proposed budget to increase the sewer service charge from $1.10 to $1.54 per 1,000 gallons of water used.

The sanitary sewer service is now costing the city $6 million a year more than is taken in, Johnson said. …

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