Buena Vista Council Makes Cuts As It Approves New Budget

By 
Ed Smith

 

Replenishing the city’s fund balance was chosen over providing level local funding for the schools Thursday as Buena Vista City Council approved a budget for fiscal year 2021.

In a 5-2 vote, Council adopted a budget that includes an 8-cent tax increase to the real estate tax rate, a $150,000 reduction over this year in local funding for the schools and a $35,000 cut to the police department. Council opted to do away with compensation for Council members next year, saving the city another $39,500.

The two dissenters to approval of the budget, Tyson Cooper and Lisa Clark, made spirited defenses of level funding for the schools. Cooper warned that not being more supportive of education could lead to future costs for society such as higher rates of poverty and crime.

Cheryl Hickman, who made the motion to reduce funding to the schools, said every entity the city supports needs to share in the cuts to spending that are required if the city is to ever dig itself out of its present financial crisis.

Fund-saving measures Council took are expected to add $340,000 to the city’s fund balance next year. Deficit financing the past several years has led to the diminishment of the fund balance to the extent that the city is experiencing cash flows issues, rendering it unable to pay all of its bills each month.  

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