By Dan Bechtold/Editor
A day long meeting was held by the Winner City Council on Aug. 20 to go over the budget for next year. The council head from every department head. In addition, Mike Scott, executive director of the Winner Area Chamber of Commerce and Charli Gill, president of the Chamber board, made a presentation to the council. Chandra Weidner, finance officer, explained in the general fund the city would be cutting how much the city gives in donations. She said these donations were cut back with the understanding that groups like the Chamber could come and ask for funds when they have a specific need and the city could take this money from the contingency fund. Weidner explained the city will be putting more money into the contingency fund. As an example, Weidner said if Tripp County economic development has a huge opportunity for business to come to Winner and they need more funds they can come to the city request funds and show what they plan to do with the money.
By state law, a city can put 5 percent of its total budget into contingency. Since the budget is going to be so tight, the council asked each department to cut their budget. The amount asked to be cut was $1.3 million which includes about $100,000 from miscellaneous funds, $300,000 from public safety and $900,000 from public works. The focus this year for the city is infrastructure. Last year the city spent a lot of money on buying equipment and this year they will not need equipment.
In the budget, Mayor Jody Brozik explained the city is not going to defund the police department. The city is up to full staff on police officers. “We are supporting our police department very much,” said Brozik. In Scott’s presentation he noted big Chamber events bring sales tax dollars into the the city as people are buying gas, food and other items. A good example was the BBQ Pit Row which was combined with the August Winner Summer Nights which drew over 1,000 people downtown. Scott told the council with events they have planned they are bringing people to Winner. “We want to do anything we can to create a positive feel,” he said. Weidner said “Overall, the city is tightening its budget in every category.” The estimated budget is a little over $16 million.
Though it was a long day, the mayor and council felt the budget discussion, which was open to the public, was beneficial. The meeting was live streamed so people who could not attend could watch.
In other business at the meeting, the council approved the temporary malt beverage license for the Legion demolition derby on Sunday, Sept. 6.
The next regular meeting of the Winner City Council will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 6:30 p.m.. The council will not meet on Labor Day, Sept. 7.