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City prepares for new fiscal year

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Alison Penn Photo City Manager Joe Neeb shares reports with city councilors and senior city staff at the workshop on Monday evening at City Hall. Mayor Dennis Kintigh and Councilors Barry Foster and Jacob Roebuck listen and look over their informational packets.

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Roswell City Manager Joe Neeb presented the city’s final budget workshop on Monday night.

“(The) finance (department) right now, they have started working on revenue estimates to get those locked down — as well as the true personnel cost and everything,” Neeb said. “And so they’re starting now to (take) all this information and consolidate it into a preliminary budget.”

Neeb said there would be challenges to overcome in achieving a preliminary budget for councilors to review.

“Of course we will end up with a balanced budget,” he said. “We always do and we always will.”

The other budget workshops were held March 22, March 29, April 16, and at the city retreat held April 20-21. The city will also have a city council meeting on Thursday and a special meeting on May 24. The PowerPoints from the presentation are available on the city’s website (roswell-nm.gov) under the budget section.

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The city’s budget department is responsible for four budgets per year: mid-year budget, the year-end budget, the preliminary budget, and then the final budget, all of which are passed by city council and sent to the state for approval.

Mayor Dennis Kintigh said the city council will take action on the preliminary budget at the May 24 meeting. He reminded councilors that they have the authority to amend what is presented — but he asked that if they plan to increase a line item, councilors should visit the finance staff for information and choose a line item to take the funds from.

Neeb shared information on all of the accounts — and what will have to occur for the city to prepare to begin a new fiscal year. He said some goals for this year’s budget are to stabilize the general fund expenditures and protecting the reserves (which is 1/12 of the budget), as well as increasing the amount held for the general fund.

He also said implementing the compensation plan for city workers is one of the first priorities requested by the city council. In regard to the unions, he said a draft memorandum of agreement (MOA) was given to the Utility Workers Union of America Local 51 and the city is waiting for confirmation that this MOA will be given to their membership.

“They are our employees as well as they are union members,” Neeb said. “And so we are going to do whatever we can to get there because we really want them to concentrate on the jobs that they have to do out there.”

Another draft MOA is set to be sent to Roswell Police Officers Association (RPOA), and Neeb said the city wants to settle arbitration that has been pushed back to August. Neeb said the city is also trying to implement the step eight plan and add-ons to police salaries — which will not assist with retirement, but will be an addition to their income.

Neeb said the city is still negotiating with the fire department union. Chief Devin Graham said from the hiring initiative for the Roswell Fire Department there were 76 applicants. Thirty-one showed up for tryouts, 30 passed the physical fitness requirements, and 22 passed the written test — those 22 will be interviewed.

Neeb said the city generate some additional money for road repairs from capital improvement and road funds. In conversation with City Engineer Louis Najar, Neeb said the intention is to have any project that makes it into the budget be accomplished.

Regarding trash complaints, Neeb said there are about 2,000 tan containers without lids and the city intends to put lids on the containers by Aug. 31. The older black trash cans will not have lids immediately and will instead be phased out over time. Najar said the installation of the lids began last week, northeast part of College Boulevard.

City/RISD reporter Alison Penn can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or at reporter04@rdrnews.com.