Sidney City Clerk/Treasurer Jessica Redfield presented the city’s budget to council on Monday, Aug. 19, for the 2019-20 fiscal year. Here are some highlighted topics for taxpayers.

1This year, mills were valued at $10,720.63, down from last fiscal year’s $11,953.79.

2There is $2.4 million in revenue in the general fund and $3.4 million in expenditures. Redfield said approximately $1 million of those expenditures are transfers to CIPs, due to the audit finding of too much money sitting in the general fund. There will be an anticipated ending cash balance of $883,000.

3CIP accounts receiving a transfer from the general fund are $20,000 to police pension and training; $210,000 to snow removal; $50,000 to city hall; $50,000 to parks; $50,000 to police equipment and vehicles; $175,000 to street equipment; $175,000 to street construction; and $100,000 to fire equipment. CIP accounts are not required to be spent within a certain time frame.

4A new city-wide snow removal district was enacted last year and this is the first year it will appear on property taxes at $25 per lot.

“Something that I think is important for people to understand is that $25 is not specifically for the street in front of your house,” Redfield said. “Although we do get to residential eventually, that $25 is for the snow removal of emergency routes, school routes, downtown, all of that. Once those are taken care of, we move out to residential.”

5For several fiscal years, the city has been cutting general fund expenditures. In order to balance to the budget, transfers have been made from the oil and gas severance fund. Redfield said this is the first fiscal year the city didn’t have to budget a transfer to the general fund.

6SID 100 and SID 103 were paid off early and citizens in those districts can expect small refunds. Redfield gave a tentative timeline for refunds and said they will begin being processed in January and issued in February.

7Three years ago, the City of Sidney transferred $50,000 to a city hall CIP to be used for building renovations. City hall hopes to expand into the old firehall next door and renovate the entire building. Another $50,000 was transferred this year, bringing the total to $100,000. Redfield said a rough estimate of total building renovation was around $1 million, so the project is many years away, as the city only makes the transfer when the budget allows. In the meantime, the fund may be used for office expenditures, like new computers or office equipment.

8Ten years ago the city and the county began the Downtown Enhancement Fund, which currently sits at $64,000. The money was used for the project on Lincoln Avenue, as well as the lighted pedestrian and speed radar signs in school zones.

9Citizens will see an increase in property taxes for garbage services. The city is currently working with four garbage trucks, three of which are in need of replacement. Redfield said new garbage trucks cost around $350,000 each and the last taxpayers saw for garbage services was about five years ago. The fee will go from $150 to $175 this year.

10The increase in garbage and the increase in snow removal costs amount to about $4.16 per month per property.

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