Helena approves 2019-20 general fund budget

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

HELENA – The Helena City Council has prepared for the upcoming 2019-20 fiscal year as the council adopted the general fund budget by passing a resolution at the latest council meeting on Monday, Sept. 23.

The general fund budget of about $9.1 million was approved for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 and ending Sept. 30, 2020.

One highlight of the general fund budget includes a 3 percent cost of living adjustment and a one-time reduction in family insurance coverage of $45 off the biweekly premiums for city employees.

“I proposed the reduction to help lower the costs for employees who are struggling with the already high cost of health insurance coverage,” Helena Mayor Mark Hall said.

Other highlights of the budget include the purchase of two police vehicles to replace two older models in the fleet, replacing two work trucks for the public works department and the replacement of vehicles for the parks and recreation department. The city has also secured funding for the replacement of various computer equipment in several departments that require updating the operating systems.

Projected revenues in the 2019-20 budget includes of $330,000 for building permits, $1.05 million in the 1 percent education fund and nearly $3.6 million in sales tax revenues.

Some of the administrative line items when funds become available include $14,000 for a round-about project for the Beautification Board, $1,000 for Helena History, $10,000 for museum security, $2,000 for generator repair, $10,000 for the repair of the trail around Joe Tucker Park, $20,000 for cross walk safety and $20,000 for web site design.

“I am very pleased that this budget is balanced and reflects no shortfalls in funding,” Hall said.

Details of the 2019-20 general fund budget can be viewed at Cityofhelena.org/Default.asp?ID=16&pg=City+News&action=view&aid=2442&title=General+Fund+Budget+FYE+2020.