Dougherty: Everyone should be proud of budget

By DAWNE LEIKER

dleiker@dailynews.net

Hays City Manager Toby Dougherty presented Hays city commissioners with a budget "everybody should be proud of" at Thursday's work session.

As a continuation of a commission initiative for several years, its pay-as-you-go budgeting system has enabled the city of Hays to maintain a balanced budget, better-than-adequate reserves and no mill levy increase in 2013.

Nationwide, Dougherty said, cities are declaring bankruptcy, renegotiating with creditors or instituting mass layoffs. Although other factors came into play to put the city of Hays in an optimum budgeting position, one fiscal element has been critical.

"Sustainability is at the forefront of all that," Dougherty told commissioners. "If you're moving forward in an unsustainable manner, you're going to have problems.

"This (2013 budget) is not ... so kudos to you guys."

The 2013 budget projects $38.3 million in expenditures, an increase of $2.1 million from 2012, with the mill levy remaining at 25 mills. An unreserved fund balance -- required by the commission to be at least 10 percent of operating expenditures, of $1.1 million -- is included in the budget.

The 2013 budget will come before commissioners again at their July 19 work session. A public budget hearing will be set for the first regular commission meeting in August.