10/20/10 The Argos Town Council held a special meeting last Wednesday to fine tune the 2011 budget. The Council was cautioned that they would need to take some action or they would be depleting the cash reserves. “I didn’t understand that the cash balances were being depleted at a slow rate.” said George Null, Council President.
Patty Jones, Town Clerk, mentioned the need to create more revenue along with cuts in spending. She suggested in looking into taxing the utilities. Currently the Utility Department (electric, water and sewage) does not pay property tax. It could be determined what their taxes would be and bill the departments for a portion of the taxes. This could be done so there would not have to be a rate increase for the services. She also suggested increasing the fines generated from the police department. Half of the fines collected go to the General Fund with the other half to the Police Fund.
Police Chief, Rod Rudd, offered a plan for the Police Departments Budget. The department is currently looking to hire a fifth patrolman. Rudd suggested keeping the force to four patrolmen. The department would purchase an additional vehicle so each officer would have a take home car. Rudd had the fact and figures to prove this would be a cost savings for the department. “I appreciate the thought process but, we need a five man force. This is an essential service.” said Councilmember, Dave Walker.
The Council was able to cut almost $50,000 from the budget with the savings from changing insurance policies and a $15,800 cut offered from the Park Department. “This is a reflection of cuts. We still need to be cautious on spending.” said Walker.