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The City of Dry Ridge is in danger of its dwindling reserves evaporating as the city council approved the 2012-13 budget on May 14.
The past several years the city has had to dip into its reserves without sufficient revenue to cover expenses.
“It’s tight,” Mayor Clay Crupper said about next year’s budget. “We took basically the same budget as we had last year. The projected revenue will hopefully be about the same coming in. At the end of this budget year, if we spend everything we put into the budget, we’ll have about $20,000 surplus at the end of the year. That’s how tight it is.”
After having $510,457 in carryover funds going into the 2010-11 budget, the city was left with $392,972 to bring into the 2011-12 budget.
Only $206,822 is estimated to be carried over for the 2012-13 budget.
City officials are anticipating that only $20,672 will remain from reserves after the end of the next fiscal year.
“We’re trying to get by on what we got and not raise taxes,” Crupper said. “I don’t want to raise no property taxes. Our people, I think, pay enough.”
The budget includes $1.66 million in general fund appropriations.
Each department is budgeted the same this year as last year with the Dry Ridge Fire Department the biggest expense at $988,000.
A new $25 fire dues approved by the Grant County Fiscal Court could bring in between $60,000 and $80,000, said Crupper.
However, taxpayers also can opt-out of the dues.
The county also will not be providing the $25,000 it normally budgets for each fire department in lieu of the fire dues.
“I was hoping to get more money out of the county,” Crupper said funds for fire and ambulance services. “We need more money out of the county because we’re providing all of this service to the county and we’re getting nothing out of $25,000.”
Crupper said part-time employment at the fire department may have to be scaled back and the city could look at having the department only cover ambulance calls within the city limits.
“We’ll just have to have a smaller crew,” he said. “We’ll have to depend on more volunteers.”
General government and the police department have budgets of $248,000 and $233,350, respectively.
Public works has been given $157,200 in its budget while $31,400 has been set aside for debt service and $5,500 for recreation.
The estimated revenue for the 2012-13 budget also remained the same as the current year at $1.477 million.
The biggest revenue source in the general fund is $604,000 from licenses and permits, followed by $473,000 from taxes and $339,000 from charges for services.
The remaining revenue of $61,300 will come from intergovernmental, interest and miscellaneous categories.
If the city cannot generate more revenue and the reserves continue to be depleted, more drastic cuts could be a reality in the future.
“We’d just have to layoff people and shut the fire department down to maybe a chief and volunteers like Williamstown,” Crupper said. “That’s what we might have to do.”