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101 1st St NE
Box 12
Bowman, ND 58623-0012

City calls for 15 percent budget cuts

June 10, 2016

By BRYCE MARTIN

 

Pioneer Editor | bmartin@countrymedia.net

A budgetary cut of 15 percent was recommended by the Bowman City Commission for all external entities such as the library, golf course and parks department, leaving a request made Tuesday for dollars to repair a failing roof up in the air.

Sarah Snavely, director of the Bowman Regional Public Library, and several library board members made a request for at least $7,600 to fix its roof, which is in need of repair due to its age. She gave commissioners pictures of water pooling on the flat structure and thoroughly explained the request.

But Darren Limesand, finance commissioner, had to unofficially deny the library’s request, at least until the following meeting when the board could delve deeper into the city’s budget.

Earlier during the city commission’s regular meeting Tuesday, Limesand voiced his concerns over the 2017 budget’s potential shortfall — a result of decreased revenue coming into the city — and suggested that requests from external entities be carefully considered.

A 15 percent cut was the result.

The official 2017 budgetary season for the city begins in August, at which time departmental budgets are prepared and submitted to the city for review. The city also works to balance its annual budget during that time.

The list of external entities that the city provides funds for, when the need arises, includes the Bowman Community Band, Bowman County Historical and Genealogical Society (Pioneer Trails Museum), Bowman Area Chamber of Commerce, Bowman Volunteer Fire Department, Sweetwater Golf Course, Bowman Regional Public Library, Bowman Cemetery Association and Bowman County Development Corporation.

Limesand told The Pioneer on Wednesday that surge funding could not be used to offset any such budget cuts because it is not to be used for operating expenses or salaries.

Lyn James, president of the city commission, admitted that a 15 percent cut is quite large.

“It is big for everybody because all of our entities already run on a really tight budget,” she said.

But because the city’s revenue has decreased, so does its spending.

There was no word on whether the city would impose budgetary cuts to its internal departments. It was said, however, that the city has already been careful to consider funding additional projects and requests from those departments.

According to Snavely, the Bowman County Commission had already pledged $15,000 and the library had $32,000 in its project fund. The $7,600 from the city would have brought them close to meet construction estimates.

While the city — the owner of the library building — unanimously approved allowing the library board to do work on the structure, the financial matter was tabled until the next meeting, scheduled for June 28.

“We all support the library, you should know that,” James told the library board at the close of discussion on the matter.

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