The Clintonville Finance Committee met earlier this week where city department heads engaged in lengthy discussions outlining the city’s needs for the near future.
The needs for the city far exceed the its capital resources, which means they’ll have challenging decisions lying ahead.
“I don’t think there’s going to be an easy year for a while,” admitted Finance Committee Chair Mark Doornink. “Our goal is to reduce our debt. It’s tough to do that when we have areas of high need. City streets remain high on our list of priorities, but to make a dent in what we owe for debt is going to be a tough decision.”
Doornink adds that the city will have to get creative to help save money, such as collaborating between departments. For example, when it comes to owning equipment, one department would purchase the item and allow another department to pay for its use when needed elsewhere.
Right now, department heads are listing out projects that they foresee as needs in the next five years from 2018-2022. The city already has two major projects slated for the next year.
“The repair of the Clintonville damn, which is [about] $400,000,” Doornink said of one of the city’s big budget items. “There will be a grant from the DNR for roughly half of that and [we’ll spend] about $400,000 for a firetruck, replacing two pieces of equipment down to one.”
There are other smaller ticket items that the city is contractually obligated to pay for in 2018, like an ambulance payment and new voting machines.