DANBURY— After accounting for expected expenses in the 2019-20 fiscal year, City Council found its proposed budget is $39,030 out of balance.
Among the expenses causing the deficit is creation of a city website, which is expected to cost up to $15,000, but Councilwoman Heather Martin expects maintenance costs in the future to be significantly less.
Since the city does not have a website, it will be required to scan and upload certain documents for public access, Martin said. She does not know exactly how much it will cost to transfer all the necessary documents.
Council also would like to consider paying installments for the drainage project that will take place over the next few years rather than making a one-time payment. Members expect the total cost will be about $17,000 and will discuss how much to put toward the project at their next meeting.
Other expenses council proposed to increase included pay raises for both the police chief and the city manager.
One way the city plans to save money is by adopting uniform pay dates, which should cut about $2,000 in accounting costs, Mayor Melinda Strong said. All Danbury employees will be moved to biweekly pay schedules, she said.
Council will meet again Thursday to discuss which parts of the budget can be reduced in order to submit a balanced budget.
In other business, council members approved having both a citywide pep rally and the annual high school band concert at Skrabanek Park, but they weren’t as excited when Danbury Project Graduation parents asked about the annual Senior Bonfire taking place at the park.
Having the bonfire on city property raises liability concerns, and the condition of the property after last year’s bonfire bothered Strong. Remaining pallets and nails were left on the ground, despite an agreement with the parents to clean up the property, the mayor said.
Project Graduation Chairwoman Christy Zetka said it is a different group of parents this year, and they do not want one year of irresponsible parents to ruin the experience for all the seniors in the future.
At the suggestion of Councilman Bill Turnipseed, the city voted to allow the bonfire with the condition the parents sign a legal agreement constructed by the council. The contract will ensure the area is picked up and the city is relieved of liability for issues including the size of the fire or its distance from other properties.