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The City of Forest City began the budgeting process for its 2020-2021 fiscal year by holding a capital budget improvement workshop.

The purpose of the workshop, held on Monday Nov. 25, was to begin the process of developing an improvement plan for the upcoming fiscal year, beginning July 1, 2020.

“It isn’t an official plan,” said Forest City Administrator Barb Smith, “because we don’t we don’t have a public hearing and we don’t pass it.

“We don’t get the capital improvement levy. It’s a planning tool for budgeting.”

Capital improvement items discussed, by department, included:

• Police Department - projected budget of $70,917 includes service, maintenance and current expenditures for equipment, vehicles and replacement or future purchases.

• Fire Department - projected budget of $77,000 budgeted annually for water tankers.

• Streets – budget is $125,000 for 2019-2020. The 1997 snowplow is due for replacement, but was moved to fiscal year 2020-2021 budget, along with a Chevy pickup also needing to be replaced. Projects also include repaving North 13th Street out of reserves in the 2020-2021 budget year. In addition, a new item added - a Holland Utility Tractor. For the past four years, the department has borrowed one from the Parks and Recreation Department. The expenditure would be split, making each department responsible for $25,000.

• Public Library - budget of $5,000 for the next five fiscal years for computers.

• Parks and Recreation Department - projected budget is $37,550, along with a transfer of $25,000.

• Cemetery - projected budget is $3,000 in reserve for the next five fiscal years for mower purchase and labor to fill cracks and replace 17 signs within 11 or 12 sections.

• City Hall - projected budget is $2,000 for expenditures of computer replacement, phones and replacement of server, which is projected at $6,000 as well as other office equipment, with a reserve transfer of $10,000 for 2020-2021.

• Water Department - projected budget is $115,000 along with reserve transfer of $130,000 for future of dump station repairs in 2020-2021. Other expenditures for $50,000 included a dog fence, shower house and water mains, playground at Pammel Park and trail/rental of kayaks and/or canoes for 2022 projected at $10,000.

• Sewer Department - expenditures projected at $75,000.

The Economic Development Group of Forest City will award $75,000 to the City of Forest City, from a grant received, to be used for the dam project.

The capital budget items will be on the agenda in a future Forest City City Council meeting.

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Jesusa Christians is the Community Editor of the Forest City/Britt Summit-Tribune.

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