Buckley battling budget

Preliminary signs indicate balancing Buckley’s 2012 budget will be an arduous task indeed, as city administrator David Schmidt is seeing red – and a lot of it.

“We had our first budget meeting with all of the heads of departments…and we are going to be struggling to get this thing done, no doubt about it,” Schmidt said.

“All of the dollar figure reports came in and we are going to be eating, breathing, sleeping budget and putting everything else on the back burner for now,” he said. “As it stands right now we are already sadly funding services in the building, parks and planning departments on a half-time basis.”

Schmidt said a tentative glimpse after crunching the numbers told him there is an $85,000 deficit in the general fund as well as a $30,000 deficit in the water and sewer columns combined.

Like cities everywhere, Buckley is seeing foreclosures on homes and, consequently, the vacancies result in fewer utility hook ups and decreased revenues.

Additionally, legal fees are mounting as the city is in the midst of a legal battle concerning the Spiketon ditch controversy and has twice had to repair an aging primary water transmission line, an unforeseen expenditure from the water budget.

Schmidt said the 2012 budget could bring reductions to parks department, the youth center and the multi-purpose center.

The next budget meeting will take place Tuesday.

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