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Tue, Aug. 20

Budget talks: City streets in jeopardy

“So capital and streets are two areas where now we are back to having to be very concerned about where to get revenues for the City,” Miles said. (Photo courtesy City of Kingman)

“So capital and streets are two areas where now we are back to having to be very concerned about where to get revenues for the City,” Miles said. (Photo courtesy City of Kingman)

KINGMAN – Council and community members in attendance at Tuesday’s budget work session heard news about the City’s financial and infrastructural positions that ranged from good to concerning.

According to Mayor Jen Miles, a presentation from City Finance Director Tina Moline showed that the City is on track with its budget.

“We are on track with our expenditures compared to our budget,” Miles said.

While 2018 figures were only available through November, Miles said that City expenditures totaled about $12 million of its $29 million general-fund budget.

HURF funds were also addressed, the takeaway again being that the City’s expenditures match well with its budget. Then came a discussion on the five-year budget projection.

“The fact is that her (Moline’s) projections for revenue and expenditures over the next five years show that if we stay at status quo, we will have revenues that exceed our expenditures by amounts that vary between $1million and $2 million.”

However, the “striking and sobering truth,” according to Miles, is that those projections don’t include allocations for pavement preservation, capital improvement projects or City employee salary increases with the repeal of the sales tax increase.

Speaking to salary competitiveness, Miles said City employees haven’t received a raise since around 2007, and that doing so would likely cost between $1 million and $2 million.

Before the sales tax reduction, which took effect Jan. 1, the City had budgeted more than $4 million per year for pavement preservation. That figure has now dropped back to around $800,000 per year.

“It will require new revenue in order to address these streets,” Miles said.

And in pulling from a presentation from City Streets Superintendent Jack Plaunty, the streets do need to be addressed. He said City streets sit in the 25th percentile when compared with other cities utilizing the same street-mapping service as Kingman, which has a pavement condition index rating of 42. That index runs from 0 to 100.

Multiple capital improvement projects and items have also been placed on the chopping block, including the fire station 2 replacement and a street sweeper.

“So capital and streets are two areas where now we are back to having to be very concerned about where to get revenues for the City,” Miles said.

City Manager Ron Foggin provided some potential revenue streams the City could look into for the future. Those included a property tax, increased sales tax, development investment fees and stormwater fees.

Those revenue streams, in addition to the meeting as a whole, will be covered in greater detail in Friday’s Daily Miner.

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