Helena approves 2017-18 fiscal year budget

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA–The Helena City Council has unanimously approved the 2017-18 fiscal year budget at the Sept. 25 City Council meeting with a projected revenue of $8,050,800.

The city of Helena is projecting expenses to be at $8,030,288 in the fiscal year, bringing a total surplus of about $20,511. This surplus will add to the surplus/reserve account already available.

“As of this date, we have a $1,800,500 million in reserve which is fantastic,” Helena City Council President Mike Jones said. “We worked hard on that for the last several years.”

Here are some of the highlights of the 2017-18 fiscal year budget:

–Includes a 3 percent cost of living adjustment raise for all full-time city employees.

–Step raises for all eligible full-time employees.

–Absorb all additional employee health insurance cost.

–The additional hire of one firefighter/paramedic.

–The purchase of a new administrative truck for the HFD.

–The purchase of two new HPD patrol units.

–The construction of a new youth soccer field.

–The purchase of a new police K-9 dog.

–Upgrades and repairs to fire stations 1-3.

–Server upgrades.

–One-time retirement bonus for retirees.

–$14,000 in expenses for Helena Beautification Board projects.

“There’s a lot of hard work goes into this and we probably do more with less than anybody in the county,” Helena Mayor Mark Hall said.