Tuesday, December 6, 2022
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Monterey Finance Committee Held First Meeting On New Budget

The Monterey Finance Committee began the process of creating a new budget for 2022-2023 Thursday.

Committee members heard requests from department heads prioritizing needs for funding. Chair Nathan Walker said supply and equipment prices rising is a main concern entering next fiscal year.

“It’s going to hit us all,” Walker said. “I think all of us as citizens are feeling it, and we’re going to see it across pretty much every department. So to allow for that and kind of see what we can do and get estimates on these things early on and try to be prepared.”

Walker said departments did not have many big wants this year. Most departments asked for a five percent raise. Walker said the full Board of Aldermen will need to discuss how to address.

“That’s something we’re going to have to discuss as a board with the inflation, gas prices, food prices, rent,” Walker said. “It’s all going astronomical. So we may need to have a full blown discussion on that.”

The Street Department asked for a new diesel truck. Water Distribution requested funding to inspect the town’s water tanks. The fire department wants to add more part-time positions.

Walker said increased material costs for the water department did come as a surprise. Water Plant Supervisor Duane Jarrett said he estimates a 25 percent increase in prices.

Police Chief Bill Randolph requested an additional police officer, new body cameras, new office computers and license plate readers at the interstate exit ramps. Walker said American Rescue Plan funding could likely be used for some of the purchases.

Cultural Administrator Rafferty Cleary wants a part-time assistant and continued marketing funding.

“Our next meeting will be with the finance committee meeting as a whole, and we’ll kinda go each one of those line items one by one and see where we are at budget wise and see what we can do and can’t do,” Walker said.

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