Departments reducing spending, anticipating futureAugust 21, 2020
By CANDY NEAL
HUNTINGBURG — Huntingburg city departments are trying to prepare now for anticipated revenue reductions that will likely come in future years.
Per Mayor Denny Spinner’s request, they are reducing their spending for the rest of 2020 by about 10%, to leave some revenue unspent.
“Any money that we don’t spend in this budget will help with the 2021 budget,” Spinner told the Huntingburg Common Council Friday morning.
If the departments can reduce this year’s spending, that would be about $400,000 available to help the 2021 budget, Spinner said. If the city can save about that much in the 2021 budget as well, that budget will be fine, Clerk-Treasurer Tom Dippel said.
“Given the extra cash that we will be saving in 2020,” he said, “and possibly continuing some of those savings into 2021, I don’t think that it's an insurmountable problem.”
He added that it helps that departments tend to not spend their entire budget, which also helps future budgets.
The council reviewed each budget Friday, with the department heads explaining the different changes.
Most departments reduced their proposed 2021 budget from 2020, by making small cuts in different funds. Some of the bigger examples of reduction are the street department, reduced by $80,600, the council by $24,999, the planning/zoning department by $18,000 and the police department by $13,000. Some departments proposed a small increase in their proposed 2021 budget, and others kept their budget the same as 2020.
But future budgets are expected to be tougher to maneuver. Financial analysts have said that the recent job and wage losses connected to COVID-19 will have a significant effect on future budgets.
Huntingburg is getting ready for that, Spinner said.
“This is preparing us for probably even a more difficult budget year maybe in 2022,” he said. “We’ve got to be holding the line this year, thinking about holding the line in 2021, and preparing for possible reductions in the years to come.”
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