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Bethany’s Board Of Aldermen Begins Budget Considerations For Next Fiscal Year

Bethany’s Board of Aldermen began some budget work with a review of their Enterprise Funding budget options during their meeting Monday night.

Enterprise Funds are the paid monthly by city residents and include the Solid Waste, Gas, Electric, Water, and Sewer Funds. The city is basing their budget projections and decisions on the current balances carried in the specific funds and the projection in the next year of the cost for the city to provide the services. The discussions held Monday night did not receive a formal vote. That will come when the actual budget for the city is approved in December. The discussions held Monday night will provide a framework to develop the budget for each of the categories.

Bethany’s Solid Waste rates will like go down in the upcoming year. Of 4 options presented, the council informally agreed that a rate reduction of $1.52 per month for residential customers and $1 for seniors will be considered. The new rates will potentially be $10.60 for residents and $8.46 for seniors. The city would breakeven with the fund if that action is taken on the rates. Currently, the Solid Waste Fund carries a balance of $280,113.

Natural Gas Rates will likely be increased in the upcoming year. The city has been consulted that the city’s cost of natural gas could be as high as a 33 percent increase for the upcoming year. The city is considering a 10 percent increase in natural gas for the budget year of 2022. With the current rate of $6.62, the city would be projected to lose $387,000 in the Gas Department. The Department carries a balance of nearly $2 million. The city did absorb the $250,000 cost that came from last February’s surprise cold spell and did not charge city customers.

The city is considering a 5 percent decrease in the cost for electricity. The budget projection is an increase of $242,603 if current rates would be continued. The 5 percent reduction would still keep the city in the black by about $40,000 with a reserve of over $3.3 million.

There is no change being considered at this points for the Sewer Fund.

The budget will be printed for the council’s review and presented before the council during their next meeting on November 15th. Any budget changes will then be reviewed with council members through December 3rd.

The proposed budget passage vote is planned for December 6th.

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