The Shawnee city budget has seen some changes before it has even been adopted by the city commission.


Commission likely to approve budget

By Carmen Bourlon

The Shawnee city budget has seen some changes before it has even been adopted by the city commission.

The Shawnee City Commission is expected to adopt the new 2013-2014 budget at the June 17 meeting.

Sales tax, the city’s main source of revenue, is budgeted to be flat without an increase. This year sales tax was budgeted with a 2.5 percent increase, which came very close to not being met.

Originally no new positions were planned for, however Finance Director Cindy Sementelli said two part time positions have been budgeted for to assist with business licenses.

Additionally, no raises were planned, but Sementelli said there was a holdover balance of nearly $90,000 to be carried from the current year. Because of the balance, 2.5 percent merit raises are now budgeted based upon how long the employee has been with the city.

The wayfinding project has also been returned to the budget, though not at the original amount intended. Originally the project was budgeted at $300,000, but then it was cut due to budgetary concerns. The wayfinding has been returned to the budget, but not at the full $300,000, Sementelli said.

The wayfinding is now budgeted for more than $120,000, and Sementelli estimates that it will be enough to get started on the project.

Also on the agenda for Monday night is an action item regarding changes to the city employee retirement plan. If the commission approves, employees will be given a choice to stay on the current pension plan or switch to the 401-K type plan.

The current pension plan guarantees employees a set monthly amount for the rest of their lives, whereas the 401-K plan would include contributions from the city and from the employee to an account.

The commission is expected to approve the plan, though Sementelli said she did not include any retirement changes in the budget. Without knowing exactly what all of the employees will choose, she said she couldn’t include any changes.

“We do not know what the exact savings would be yet,” Sementelli said.

The Shawnee City Commission will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Shawnee City Hall in Commission Chambers.