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Finance committee continues talks on budget, new personnel

City Councilor Caleb Grant asks Finance Director Monica Garcia a question during the Finance Committee meeting on Tuesday morning. City Councilors Steve Henderson and Judy Stubbs review their packets and listen to the question. (Alison Penn Photo)

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The City of Roswell Finance committee met on Tuesday morning to continue a conversation about the city’s budget and personnel changes for fiscal year 2019 (FY 19).

Finance Director Monica Garcia shared reports on the city’s finances and said the FY 19 budget had been submitted to the New Mexico Department of Finance.

After working over the weekend, Garcia said four staff members from the accounting, budget and purchasing departments “closed” on fiscal year 2018 (FY 18). Garcia said the final numbers may be released the third week of this month and she does not anticipate much change due to all of the work done during the preliminary budget process.

Garcia also shared that the city’s investment portfolio has increased over that last two years, from $165,000 in FY 17 to an estimated $715,000 in investments for this year, bolstered by “the big projects.”

The committee also reviewed items brought up at the last meeting — which Garcia said her staff revisited, at the council’s request — such as line items for the airport and sanitation department. City Manager Joe Neeb and Garcia also shared information on transfers, as well as the enterprise and general funds within the budget.

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Neeb said the city has analyzed the current personnel structure and shared some of the new positions that will be budgeted for FY 19. Neeb said employment is “always fluctuating and moving” and that the city is striving to make sure there are employees with skills to fulfill the needs of the city.

Kevin Dillon and Bill Morris received new titles and promotions as of July 1. Dillon is now the facilities manager and Morris is the community development manager. Neeb said the city is looking into creating a second-in-command position to work with Dillon, to direct the maintenance staff, and a custodial supervisor. Neeb said there will be a facilities maintenance crew dedicated to the airport.

Now that the need has been realized during the preliminary budget process, Neeb said two more grounds maintenance positions for the South Park Cemetery will be budgeted for FY 19.

For the city’s animal shelter, Neeb said a kennel coordinator position and two kennel worker positions will be created since the city is aware of the community’s concern about the shelter and its operations. Neeb said he believed if the positions are filled with quality employees who care, this team will help the city in the long run.

Neeb said the Roswell International Air Center manager position has been vacant for a while and Morris said three potential candidates were interviewed on Friday. Neeb said the finance department would be getting a new position to supplement a software update — and no longer using Excel Spreadsheets — planned for city’s budgeting system within the coming year. Garcia added that the finance department had two positions that have been vacant for some time.

Neeb said there is some anticipation for additional revenue coming from the water and sewer departments thanks to the smart water meter project. City Engineer Louis Najar said the city has lost four smarts meter technicians recently.

The committee also approved a resolution on Tuesday, which aligns the city with the state’s policy to “capitalize on capital assets” that have a value greater than $5,000, Garcia said. She said the city’s threshold had been for assets over $500 in the past. City Councilor Caleb Grant, chairman of the Finance Committee, along with Councilors Steven Henderson and Judy Stubbs, passed the resolution by a vote of 3 to 0. Councilor Jacob Roebuck was not present.

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

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