OV council approves $116M final budget - Tucson Local Media: Pima Pinal

OV council approves $116M final budget

Amendments strip funding for planned studies, Steam Pump Ranch projects, augment losses to transit operations

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Posted: Thursday, June 17, 2010 11:00 pm

The Oro Valley Town Council on Wednesday night passed a final budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Council members Joe Hornat, Mary Snider, Steve Solomon and Lou Waters joined Mayor Satish Hiremath in voting in favor of the spending plan. Councilmen Bill Garner and Barry Gillaspie voted against final approval.

The $116 million budget closely mirrors the proposed spending plan, with a $35.8 million general fund, the area of the budget that funds most governmental operations.

A number of amendments offered by Hornat allowed the council to shift substantial sums of money to different areas. A significant change was the elimination of a pair of planned departmental studies outside firms were to conduct.

External analyses of the police and parks and recreation departments had been planned, with budgeted expenditures of $118,500. The money allocated for the studies will remain in the general fund.

Also included in the amended budget was abandonment of plans to hire an outside firm to conduct a nationwide search for a new town manager. The budget had included nearly $30,000 for the search effort.

Interim Town Manager Jerene Watson has served in the top town employee position since September, when former manager David Andrews resigned. Watson notified the council earlier this year of her intention to apply for the manager's job on a permanent basis.

The amendments also eliminated a $25,000 one-time spending item for a community survey.

The council also approved the elimination of $470,000 of funding for ongoing restoration efforts at the town historical property, Steam Pump Ranch. The move leaves $500,000 in the budget for planned restoration projects at the historic ranch.

The changes freed up roughly $642,500 in the budget.

In a later agenda item, the council elected to spend a portion of the money cut from the above-mentioned areas and use it to fund Coyote Run, the town's needs-based transit system, at the current level.

State funding for the transit system, Coyote Run, was eliminated earlier this year. A state fund previously had accounted for about $250,000, nearly half the Coyote Run budget.

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