Discussions for Logan’s fiscal year 2020 budget began Tuesday evening with department heads making budget presentations to Municipal Council members.
Current budgetary proposals include an 11% increase in funding for general city infrastructure and funds to cover salaries for five new employees. Other increases in the budget relate to employee salaries and health care costs.
One of the five new positions requested in 2020 budget is for a recreation center custodian. Formerly, this position was a school district employee and city funds made up half of this salary. Under the new budget, the position will be part of the rec center maintenance budget.
During the budgetary meeting on Tuesday, Parks and Recreation Director Russ Akina said the reason for this switch was the current custodian was retiring. The switch would give city staff more discretion in determining who was hired as a replacement.
“We like the opportunity to be able to hire and provide some direction to that position,” Akina said.
Akina said the biggest change was switching the role with the school district of who was hiring for this position. Under the budget proposal, there is only a slight increase from what the city is paying for this position from this year to the next.
In a statement Mayor Holly Daines read to the council during its most recent meeting on May 7, she wrote that proposed operating expenses for all departments were “basically the same as they have been for several years.”
Daines stated that the exception to this was “budgets for maintenance and utility expenses, which have risen substantially.”
One change Daines noted in the budget was a proposed 4% wage increase. According to the statement, this recommendation is a response to the city losing well-trained employees to other cities, counties and the private sector.
If approved, Daines wrote that pay increases would be allocated based on employee performance, with 2% allocated for performance and 2% for market adjustments.
Daines also wrote that the budgetary increase for health insurance premiums in the next year was nearly 13%.
“Of the last four years, only one year had an increase of less than 9%,” Daines stated. “This is not sustainable.”
Budgetary discussions will continue Tuesday after the Logan Municipal Council meeting at approximately 7 p.m.