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Council approves first reading of $6.3 million budget

The Mobridge City Council, Tuesday, Aug. 27, approved the first reading of the preliminary 2020 budget for the city.
The nearly $6.3 million in expeditures will exceed the projected $5.4 million in revenue. The $807,317 difference will come from cash reserves and capital outlay funds.
Mobridge Chief Finance Officer Heather Beck said on Tuesday that although so far in 2019 she hasn’t seen a drop in the tax revenue to the city, she expects there to be a drop in revenue in the coming months.
“I have budgeted for about $100,000 less for next year,” she said. “I have been preparing the council for a decrease in revenue and the 25 percent increase in health insurance costs.”
The City of Mobridge has been dealing with the 2020 preliminary budget for several months, with department heads making their requests, council members setting priorities and Beck projecting tax revenue to pay for it all.
The city has taken some recent hits to its economy in 2019, from lower Ag revenues, the closing of Shopko and the Mobridge Care Center and a drop tourist numbers, making forecasting the tax revenues for next year’s budget a bit dicey.
“I am keeping an eye on it as the year progresses,” said Beck.“If the revenue does not come in as expected, our department heads will have to start tightening their belts.”
Departments that will be impacted by lower revenues include the police department, street department, the swimming pool, parks and recreation, Scherr-Howe Event Center, city offices and organizations that receive allocated funding. The water and wastewater departments generate operating revenue and do not need general fund revenue.
The second reading of the preliminary budget will be at the next meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 10.
The council also approved the contract bid for manager at the Mobridge Regional Airport to Tyler Hearnen. Hearnen submitted a bid of $3,950 per month for a three-year contract. It is the same terms as the former contract with Hearnen, except for the length of the contract.
It is the only bid submitted to the city and will go into effect on Sunday, Sept. 1.
Approved the grant agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration for the airport project for the upcoming year. This part of the grant includes funding for 95 percent of project. The council also approved the grant agreement with the State of South Dakota for the 5 percent funding of the airport project for the year.
Council members also set the hearing for a petition to vacate an alley on West Grand Crossing for Tuesday, Sept. 10, at the regular council meeting.