POST FALLS - The City of Post Falls wants residents' opinions on what its budget priorities should be - before the public hearing rolls around on Aug. 20.
The city has set up an online survey asking citizens their opinions and priorities on city services as it begins shaping its fiscal year 2014 budget.
"I think having input early on in the process is better than later on," said Jason Faulkner, the city's finance director. "As we begin the planning ... I invite our citizens to help develop a proposed budget by sharing their thoughts on how we create a balanced budget that addresses city services and remains fiscally responsible."
The survey's 10 questions include:
- ranking the importance of existing services;
- what, if any, new services should the city implement;
- what, if any, services should the city stop providing; and
- suggestions for a more transparent budget process.
To keep informed about the budget or to take the survey, visit www.postfallsidaho.org.
Click on "Finance/Budget" in the Quick Links menu on the right for budget information. The budget survey is available with a link in the News and Events section.
Printed copies of the survey are also available in the Finance Department on the second floor of City Hall, 408 N. Spokane St.
The city's current General Fund budget is $19.1 million. Faulkner said it's too early to say whether that will increase or decrease.
The City Council has not increased taxes in three out of the past four years, including for the current budget. Cities are allowed to increase taxes up to 3 percent each year under law.
The current budget included 5 percent pay hikes for all sworn police personnel and emergency communications officers and up to a 3 percent merit hike for other employees. The police wage increase was partially due to being more competitive with neighboring agencies and avoid turnover and costs to re-train new officers.
Department heads did not receive an increase. Most city employees had not had a wage increase in four years.
No new positions were added to the city's staff this year.
The council will hold workshops - dates to be determined - to hammer out the fiscal 2014 budget leading up to the Aug. 20 public hearing. The workshops are open to the public, but public comment generally is not accepted at that time.
For more information on the budget or survey, contact Faulkner at email@example.com or 777-4504.