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December 4, 2013

City Council reviews proposed budget

DUNCAN — The Duncan City Council reviewed the proposed 2014 Budget during a special meeting Tuesday. The total funding available through the budget is $59,750,719.75.

“The process is not easy,” City Manager Jim Frieda said. “Budgets are tough. Budgeting isn’t always a pleasant process.”

Frieda said the 2014 Budget puts the city on the right track, continuing what the city has done in recent years.  He said the city’s reserves are greater than the have been, which is a positive thing coming out of this budgeting session.

As of October, the reserves were up to $9,502,165.86. This was a significant growth from 2010, when reserves were at $1.9 million

There were other things in the budgeting session Frieda was glad to see, including break-downs of department expenditures and quarterly meetings to discuss where the fiscal budget is in relation to where it should be.

“Having quarterly meetings to make sure we have money in place,” Frieda said. “I think we’ve progressed.”

City Financial Director Patti Clift led the review of the annual budget.

Clift began with the discussion of the General Fund.

“The General Fund normally governmental activities,” Clift said. “They’re all taxes. This is where we pay for fire and police. The fund does not have enough to operate by itself.”

Throughout the meeting, the City Council (missing Councilman Mike Nelson) went through the General Fund, focusing on individual departments. Among the biggest expenditures were wages and salaries.

The departments with the biggest salary expenditures are the Duncan Fire Department and the Duncan Police Department because they have the most employees.

The Police Department has 51 employees this year, but two more employees are budgeted for 2014.

The Police Department isn’t the only department looking to add new employees. For instance, city engineer is budgeted for a surveying engineer. An additional secretary may be hired for the Code Enforcement Department.

“There’s a lot there,” Frieda said.

The council also reviewed the General Government Department, which has no employees.

“This used to be the pork, and I’ve almost got the pork out,” Clift said. “This is where we help a lot of non-profits.”

Clift said the General Fund has the most to it, which makes it the most difficult to handle during the budgeting process.

“The General Fund is the biggest fund,” Clift said.

The rest of the budget workshop meeting looked at other funds, including revenue.

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4-20 bestinshow - carshow.jpg

Deral Knight of Rockport, Texas, won the Best In Show Award for his 1959 Chevy Corvette, which he first bought for his wife and then later restored to its current mint condition. Knight is a former Duncan resident.

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