The City of Platteville’s 2014 budget deficit disappeared in as much time as it takes to say “dental insurance” Oct. 22.
The city found out it would not have to pay the 5 percent increase — in fact, any increase at all — that was projected in the first version of the city’s 2014 budget.
The lack of increase turned the budget deficit estimated by City Manager Larry Bierke at “about $35,000” after the council’s Oct. 14 work session to, briefly, a $20,000 surplus.
The Common Council’s last scheduled budget work session Oct. 22 thus became a comparatively brief discussion about whether to add a few items to the budget.
The council agreed to make one cut — a $5,000 cut in hours at the city’s museums.
Museum executive director Steve Kleefisch said the $5,000 cut would translate into 666 fewer hours at $7.50 per hour.
The council also added $5,000 in additional museum revenue, based on the council’s restoration of 2013 funding, instead of the cut in the first version of the budget.
Kleefisch said the museum had a $3,000 cut in revenue so far this year. He noted the city cut the museums’ 2013 advertising budget from $9,500 to $4,900.
The council also reached consensus on two other revenue increases. The city will increase fire inspection fees from $30 to $35, raising an estimated $6,500, and rental inspections from $90 to $100.
The council deadlocked 3–3 earlier this year on raising the rental inspection fee from $90 to $115.
At-large Ald. Mike Denn said a flat fee charged some apartment complexes differently from others — “that’s the biggest complaint right now,” he said.
The Common Council will hold a public hearing on the budget before its scheduled vote Nov. 26.