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City passes final budget
"Port Orchard did a little better than anticipated in the 2001 budget, with an extra $150,000 in sales tax and an additional $318,176 in cash carry-over from this year.The city council adopted a $14.2 million budget Dec. 11 - about 6.3 percent more than the $13.3 million draft submitted to the council in October.Additional funds were generated after the council's finance committee recommended increasing the amount of money collected in sales tax from $1.75 million to $1.9 million during preliminary budget hearings.A review of cash carry-over from 2000 revealed there was actually $823,176 available - $318,176 more than the $505,000 city administrators orginally thought was there.The additional money allowed the city to fund its departments' regular budgets, plus some of the supplemental budgets. Though some departments saw significant increases, several were between .02 percent and 4.81 percent, with most of those right around .16 percent. The Parks Department saw the greatest supplemental budget allocation, with about $110,000 designated to improve Central Playfield and the Active Club, purchase equipment and undertake community projects. A $40,000 grant will help pay for a $47,300 Givens Community Center restroom project that complies with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.About $80,000 extra in the Public Works budget will allow City Engineer Larry Curles to hire an assistant. The assistant engineer will primarily oversee shoreline management for the city, but could also coordinate Endangered Species Act requirements and work on other projects as they come up.The majority of the Public Works regular budget submitted in October only covered salaries and daily operations, with projects listed in the supplemental budget.The Public Works department encompasses building permitting and inspections, engineering, planning, the library, parks, parking, street construction and maintenance and water and sewer utilities.The Port Orchard Police Department received enough of its supplemental budget to hire a new police officer, including salary and benefits, a uniform, supplies and fuel costs.If the department secures a grant Chief Alan Townsend applied for this fall, it could afford to hire two new officers. Similarly to the Public Works Department, most of the police department's regular budget covered existing salaries, benefits, supplies and service charges. Townsend also budgeted for some training, emergency preparedness and the $104,000 fee the department pays to Cencom, the dispatch center.The council approved a $194,881 allocation to the data processing department, about 50 percent more than the $93,791 requested in October.The regular budget amount covered salaries, benefits, supplies and services. In the supplemental budget, the data processing division requested an $85,000 allocation to purchase a new financial software package because the city's provider informed them it would no longer be supporting their current package.The $85,000 would help pay for a financial software package, a Compaq server and operating software with the help of $20,000 set aside during 2000.Library services saw the smallest increase of .02 percent over the amount requested in the first-estimate draft. The $242,323 budget for Library Services will cover the contract fee collected by the library district, the custodian's salary and benefits, supplies and services, like public utilities, janitorial services and rentals.The only department to get less than it requested in the draft budget was judicial detention. The department received $500 less, getting $51,500 against the requested $52,000. "