Once again municipal governments across the county have begun piecing together their annual budgets for the Fiscal Year 2019-20 (FY19-20), which will begin on July 31, 2019.

Under state law, each municipality, or city, is required to operate and expend funds under an annual budget that must be adopted by ordinance on or before the beginning of the fiscal year (July 1). The chief executive of the city, either the mayor or city planner depending on the type of government, is responsible for preparing and submitted the budget proposal to the legislative body or council.

The council can then make any changes to the budget that it deems necessary. The budget then goes back to the chief executive who can sign it or veto it.

At no time during the year may expenditures exceed revenues, and the as municipalities are not allowed to make profit, the budget is supposed to balance, with revenue and expenditures being equal.

Leading the city budget with the highest total, by a long margin, is the city of Providence with a proposed budget of $7,850,151. That represents an increase of $350,000 over the FY18-19 budget of $7.5 million.

Second on the list is the city of Sebree, which is eyeing a proposed budget of $1,493,234, up slightly from $1.47 million last year.

Clay was third highest at $1,401,000, and increase from $1.23.

The city of Dixon is the only municipality to show a reduced budget for the year, looking at a proposed budget of $1,076,476, down from $1.12 million one year ago.

For the city of Providence, the larger budget is largely due to the number of services provided by

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the city. Providence has the only full time municipal fire department and ambulance service in Webster County, which operate at a combined price tag of over $1 million. The city also has a full time police department which employs four patrolmen and the chief of police for a budgeted $501,201 per year.

Providence also handles the sale of all utilities to city residents, including water, sewage and gas. That department operates at an estimated $5,108,813 per year.

The city budget also includes the Providence Municipal Golf and Recreation Center (PMGRC), which has a yearly budget of $119,100. That includes an annual payment of $20,000 from the Providence Tourism Commission.

While city reports in the past have shown PMGRC to operate in the black, those report have largely been misleading. The salaries of facility director Kenny Hayes and other employees are not budgeted into the PMGRC departmental budget, as other department's employees are, they are instead paid as city employees.

Reach MATT HUGHES at 270-667-2068 or matt@journalenterprise.com.