Pierre City Commission Passes 2020 City Budget

(KCCR) — The City of Pierre has a budget in place for 2020. City Commissioners approved the 57-million dollar budget Tuesday night. Finance Officer Twila Hight says the budget holds for little to no increase in sales taxes…

“We do have the historical indicators that its been just right around that 1% or less, so we’ve kept it conservative and left the sales tax flat.  We did have a 2.4% growth in the property tax.  That’s just 2…2.4% inflation plus growth and that 2.4 is established by the state so…and that comes through from Hughes County, but that’s a dollar amount that’s established at the state level and in the past couple of years we’ve had no inflation so we were excited to see the 2.4 this year.”
The only increase in utility rates is an eight-percent boost to water rates to help pay for a voter-approved water treatment plant set for construction in 2021. Hight says the 2020 budget was balanced with some reserve funds…

“We did balance our budget with the transfer from the Electric fund of 2.5 million.  That 2.5 million includes $500,000 of electric reserves.  We also balanced the budget with another $350…just about $354,000 of just general reserve.  We were able to fund a little over 1.8 million dollars of extra, one-time requests.  We did go through the individual departments and worked through the complete list that they provided and we were able to fund 1.8 million out of the 2.4 that they requested so we did pretty good in funding a majority of the items that were requested and still managing the use of reserves.”
Hight says as of June the city had a combined 15-million dollars in reserves and are comfortable in using those reserves to balance the budget. Mayor Steve Harding says the city continued conservative budgeting has helped the city fund a few major projects with no increase in taxes or fees…

“The Boys and Girls Club and the swimming pool both; we’ve got the revenue in the budget already and so we just reorganized some debt so we’re able to pay for those two projects.  That, along with a partnership with the Boys and Girls Club and the City of Pierre for Capital Campaign on the pool.  So that’s just really a great accomplishment.”
Other projects included in the 2020 budget include reconstruction of a section of the Griffin Park walking trail and expansion of the parking area at Pierre Regional Airport.