Thursday, December 18, 2003

Monroe delays budget until new council members installed

By Perry Schaible
Enquirer contributor

MONROE - The city won't have its 2004 budget in place by the start of the new year.

City Council passed an ordinance Tuesday to provide temporary appropriations for the municipality until an official budget can be put in place.

Officials have until April 1 to pass the 2004 budget.

The temporary appropriations "represent a quarter of the tax budget sent to the county earlier this year without capital improvements," Acting City Manager William Brock said.

The budget won't be finalized until three new council members - Lora Stillman, John Birch and Bob Kelley - take their seats in January.

That way, new council members will be included in deciding where cuts should be made, "if there is a need for any additional cuts," Brock said.

The state auditor's office will do an analysis of the city's 2002year-end numbers.

"The state auditor has concerns about the negative fund balance and our ability to recover with the revenue coming in," Brock said.

The 2002 audit was completed at the end of November. The auditor's review will not affect the 2004 budget.

In other action, the board canceled the Dec. 23 regular meeting and scheduled an organizational meeting for 10 a.m. Jan. 1.

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