The Hebron City Council will address two budget items at the November meeting next month including electrical rate and fire department sinking fund adjustments. Both will most likely increase.
At the October meeting, Hebron Volunteer Fire Department chief B.J. Linton said the sinking fund as it stands now will not keep up with projected costs. He asked council members to consider upping the amount of cash the City normally submits to the fund. In fact, the city leaders may have to double the amount already going in.
“We’ve been going through the budget and know we’re going to be short,” Linton said. “The city truck and pumper truck come from the sinking fund, and even though we won’t need a new truck for another 10 years, at the rate we’re going we won’t have enough when the time comes.”
Currently the city funds the account with $1,000 a month, but price tags for new trucks continues to rise. Linton said adding a new truck is projected to cost over $200,000 in the next decade. “If we keep the fund the same,” councilwoman Beth Goldhammer said, “we’ll need an additional $80,000 to $90,000 when the time comes.”
Council president Larry Fangmeier agreed. “It looks to me we could be adding an additional $750 to $1,000 a month to the money we’re already putting in the account,” he said.
Linton said the department’s two ambulances were bought with donations only, while the fuel comes out of the normal fire department budget. The chief will present additional information at the November meeting where city officials will finalize their decision.
In other business, councilman Fangmeier said the city’s wholesale cost for electricity was getting hit with a six percent increase. The council has until December to decide, but Fangmeier wanted them to be aware a change needed to be made. “We are looking at an increase,” he said, “but we’re going to research the peak period to see how much the raise will be. No one likes to see their electricity rates go up, but we won’t be able to sustain the wholesale increase without raising the rates.”
The council will discuss the rates in more detail at the November meeting.