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City of Libby finds positives with its budget

by Canda Harbaugh & Western News
| July 24, 2009 12:00 AM

The City of Libby fared well over the past fiscal year despite the country’s economic woes.

Councilmembers congratulated themselves as they prepared to look over the preliminary 2009-10 budget at Monday’s meeting.

“Everyone needs a pat on the back,” councilmember Bill Bischoff said.

The city spent less money than it budgeted, and the cash carryover increased by about $38,000.

“Almost every fund did better than I had projected,” city clerk and treasurer Glena Hook said. “The department heads are being conservative. As long as we stay that way, we should be OK.”

Hook is cautious to say the city is doing well financially, but admits it’s healthier than other municipals. 

“Compared to a lot of other cities and towns we are probably holding our own so far,” she said.

While the city should always strive to have higher cash reserves for emergencies, Hook admits that it has been difficult with increases in costs but not in revenues.

Mayor Doug Roll predicts the council will approve the budget around the beginning of September.

In other news from Monday’s meeting:

• Rural Development’s Office of General Counsel approved a loan for the Cabinet Heights sewer extension project. Ryan Jones of Morrison-Maierle estimated that construction would begin in three weeks.

• The council agreed to apply for a $25,000 Rural Development loan to partially fund a preliminary engineering report to expand the city’s wastewater treatment plant. The council must still decide how much money to put toward matching the loan and from which fund the money will come.

• The city awarded its oil, gas and propane bid to Moore Oil.