The City Council is set to approvethe 2008-09 budget on June 2.

The Independence City Council heard from seven city departments Tuesday night during a budget hearing for the 2008-09 fiscal year starting July 1.

Representatives with Sanitary Sewer and Storm Water, Parks and Recreation, Community Development, Tourism, National Frontier Trails Museum, Health and Non-Departmental all gave presentations before the council.

What follows is a bulleted explanation of what was discussed by each department head.



Sanitary Sewer

The Sanitary Sewer Fund is set to have an operating budget of $15,057,335 with a capital budget of $3,330,000, of which $200,000 will go to the continued use of trenchless technology, a cost-effective measure requiring little maintenance and causing minimal damage to existing streets. So far, according to a spokesperson with the Water Polution Control Department, 35 miles of trenchless sewer systems with an additional five to seven projected over the next year. Total resources for the Sanitary Sewer Fund are projected at $19,107,749.



Storm Water

The Storm Water budget has a proposed operating budget of $2,095,629 with a capital budget of $4,276,000 with revenues projected at $4,948,909.



National Frontier Trails Museum

The 2008-09 budget for the National Frontier Trails Museum is set at $375,897. While expenditures have increased each of the last four years, museum revenue has decreased. After reaching the $100,000 mark in the 2004-05 fiscal year, last year’s revenue dipped below $80,000. In the past year, the museum has launched online shopping for its store, installed new exhibits in the permanent gallery and partnered with the Toy & Miniature Museum and the Puppetry Arts Institute on several public programs.



Tourism

The Tourism Department is set to break even in its 2008-09 budget with $1,146,000 expected in revenue and the same amount projected in expenses. Hotel revenue increased about 3 percent over the last year, which is consistent with each of the past four fiscal years. In the 2007-08 fiscal year, the department was able to request $186,677 in state co-op funding. In the 2008-09 fiscal year, the target goal is $220,000 according to Tourism Director Stephanie Roush.



Community Development Department

The Community Development Department is projecting a 2008-09 revenue of $2,455,260 with a budget of $3,115,640. The department was responsible for $1.2 million in improvements in the Fairmount-Carlisle 353 area and completed 80 first-time home buyer grants.



Parks and Recreation

The Parks and Recreation Department is projected to have a 2008-09 operating budget of $4,967,294 and an estimated $5 million in revenue. According to Parks and Recreation Director Eric Urfer, priorities include the completion of phase one of the Rock Creek Trail and the extension of the Little Blue Trace trail as well as the opening of the Independence Athletic Complex in the fall.



Health

According to Health Department Director Larry Jones, the 2008-09 fiscal budget will go to, among other things, continued animal shelter operation, food safety training and emergency preparedness. Financial data was not given at the meeting.



Non-Departmental

(includes general fund, power and light, sewer and water)

The General Fund is proposed to be $8,669,377, with Power and Light $18,316,501, Sanitary Sewer $3,208,016 and Water $4,787,724.

The proposed budget will be available for public view on week days between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. at the city clerk’s office in city hall, 111 E. Maple, until the budget goes before the board for final approval June 2.