Friday, November 13, 2009

Budget Woes Hit Magdalena Village

By John Larson

MAGDALENA – The state’s budget shortfall is being felt on the local level, Clerk Rita Broaddus told the Magdalena Village Board of Trustees at its meeting Monday night.
Broaddus said she received official notice confirming that all capital outlay projects have been put on hold.
“I spoke with a budget analyst with the DFA [Department of Finance and Administration] today and she indicated that were going to have to do some tightening and adjust in budget or we’ll be in bad shape,” Broaddus said. “The village operates on the gross receipts tax – the marshal’s office, the judge and municipal court, utilities, streetlights, all those things – and our gross receipt tax is just whittling down.”
She said that in first quarter of the fiscal year the GRT was down 11 percent, while expenses have risen two percent.
“The fire department, including EMS, is not affected by this. They get a specified amount at the first of the year,” Broadus said. “We will have to adjust the village budget to take into account the deficit in money coming into the general fund, and try to get everybody on board that we need to cut back on expenses at least 10 percent.”
She said all village department heads should think about where money can be saved.
“It will be important to basically not to purchase anything that’s not absolutely necessary,” Broaddus said.
She said a meeting will be held next week with Marshal Larry Cearley, Judge Robert Serna, Joint Utilities Director Steve Bailey, and Deputy Clerk Carleen Gomez “to look a budget to see where we can tighten things up.”
In other business:
• Mayor Jim Wolfe said he has gotten word that FEMA will be using a photographic map and topographical information “to move ahead with its flood plain study and drainage management plan. It’s a pretty comprehensive study.” He said the purpose was to provide flood insurance for people inside the flood plain, at a cheaper rate.
• The board voted to table the first reading of an ordinance to vacate a portion of 12th Street.
• The board approved a request by Cearley to spend $3,000 for EMT training for three new EMS volunteers.
• The board approved the expenditure of $1,909 from the Lodger’s Tax fund to advertise the village in the travel publication Old West Trails.

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