Indy looks to add positions with 2015-16 budget



INDEPENDENCE — Things are looking up for the city of Independence as far as the budget is concerned, Budget Officer and Finance Director Gloria Butsch said at the April 29 budget meeting.

“With this budget, we continue the climb back to fiscal health,” she said. “In this budget, we can see the positive impacts of our improving economy.”

Butsch noted an increase in building in both residential and industrial areas as one reason for the improving economy, but noted that the city will proceed with some caution as it rebuilds its workforce.

The city will continue its collaboration with the Central School District in providing a school resource officer position, with hopes that Monmouth will get on board to help pay for the officer, Butsch said.

New this year, the city will replace the contracted event center coordinator, add a half time officer and two quarter-time officers, increase the police maintenance position to full time, add two hours to a part-time library assistant and increase a part-time accounts payable clerk to full time.

Cost-of-living increases also are budgeted for all employees.

A capital improvement plan will be jump-started with $2 million worth of projects to be implemented in 2015-16.

The capital improvement projects are a compilation of needs from each department.

The 2015-16 budget remains conservative, Butsch said.

“It will take careful consideration and due diligence in the coming years to get ahead of the deferred maintenance curve,” she said. “This budget attempts to begin that process.”

The Independence Budget Committee will meet Wednesday (today) at 6 p.m. at the Independence Civic Center, 555 S. Main St., Independence. All meetings are open to the public.

The committee will receive answers to questions about the numbers in the budget and will either approve it and move the document to the council for adoption, or request further meetings.

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