Council gives OK to budget

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 17, 2003

The city's 2003 amended budget, detailed last April in ward meetings, was approved by the city council at its meeting Monday night.

The budget accounts for a $933,396 reduction due to the state cuts to local government aid (LGA) this year.

Included in the budget are the increases this year in zoning fees, the increases in building fees and the rise in fees for pool passes. Also, the storm water utility fee that has just started showing up on utility bills will generate some revenue for the city.

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A 5 percent cut to all outside organizations is also a part of the budget. Those organizations are the Senior Citizens Center, Semcac housing assistance, the Welcome Center, the Fourth of July Festival, the community band, the local artist award, the Austin symphony and the Development Corporation of Austin.

City items and programs also will face cuts.

The Mill Pond Boat has been eliminated this year, funds for the ice rink facilities are reduced, money for flower baskets have been reduced and scheduling changes for the arena will be saving money on the utility bill.

The budget for 2004, also presented at the ward meetings, was not a part of the resolution passed by the council. That budget includes further cuts and savings of $600,000 through elimination of positions in the city. The 2004 budget was in anticipation of $1.8 million in LGA cuts for that year, but with an actual loss of $1.3 million, the budget will need to be looked at again by the council.

Matt Merritt can be reached at 434-2214 or by email at