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Dry Ridge Mayor Clay Crupper said he had to “cut down to the bone” in the 2011-12 budget.
The city council approved the second reading of the budget during its June 6 meeting.
The budget included $1.66 million in general fund appropriations, $104,950 less than current year’s budget.
“It’s going to be awfully tight,” Crupper said. “We couldn’t give any raises. We couldn’t do nothing.”
The estimated revenues for the 2011-12 budget year decreased by $291,100 from the current fiscal year.
Nearly every department also received cuts in appropriations, including $42,000 for the fire department, $30,000 for the police department and $28,300 for public works.
Crupper said he has spoken with county officials about providing more funding to the city for its fire and ambulance service.
If an agreement cannot be made, he said part-time employment at the fire department may have to be scaled back beginning July 1 and the city could look at having the department only cover ambulance calls within the city limits.
“I’m not going to raise any taxes,” Crupper said. “With times like they are and everything, I can’t raise taxes. It’s hard times for everybody. People are barely making their budgets at home.”
Magistrate Brian Linder, who represents Dry Ridge, has met with Crupper and the fire department about the issue.
He said he sent an e-mail presenting the problem to fellow fiscal members and mayors of Crittenden, Corinth and Williamstown, but no headway was made since it was late in the budgetary process.
“To me, it’s a fairness issue,” Linder said. “I think the Dry Ridge taxpayers are paying an unfair burden for services."
Linder said Judge-Executive Darrell Link and the fiscal court will be looking for some long-term solutions to help take the burden away from the city of Dry Ridge.
“My fear is, if the city of Dry Ridge pulls back and does not leave the city of Dry Ridge, then we, the county and the other cities, have a huge problem because we only have one ambulance in Rural Metro to cover the entire county and all the cities,” Linder said. “That’s a problem and I don’t want to see that happening.”
The city’s reserves also are dwindling.
After having $510,457 in carryover funds going into the 2010-11 budget, the city was left with $264,957 to bring into the 2011-12 budget.
City officials are anticipating that only $78,807 will remain from reserves after the end of the next fiscal year.
“We can’t keep reaching into our reserve every year,” Crupper said. “It’s going to be gone. We’ve got to do something.”