City Council Approves New Budget
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – The Twin Falls City Council approved a budget for fiscal year 2016-17 during a public hearing on Monday evening.
The new $60.96 million budget – which is $192,418 more than the current fiscal net budget – calls for a 3 percent increase in property tax plus new construction, or $8.16 for every $1,000 in assessed value. The council also agreed to allocate $287,000 that was not included in the proposed budget.
In a motion that passed 6-1, the council agreed $64,000 would go toward hiring a victim’s witness coordinator – a position that Councilman Don Hall said was sorely needed in the police department.
“It is something that is not negotiable,” he said. “I can’t overstate how important that position is to fill.”
Hall, whose professional background is in law enforcement, said he could not stress enough the importance of filling that position. Chris Talkington, another council member, was the only one of the seven who voted against adding the position, suggesting the council review the topic at a later date. Police Chief Craig Kingsbury, who spoke during the meeting, said a victim’s witness coordinator would help the department better serve the victims of crime and that he’d like to see the position filled sooner than later.
The council also agreed to allocate $180,000 toward the city pool, now managed by the YMCA, if the city needs to step in as manager. Another $43,000 was earmarked to install electronic reader boards in the city to announce community events.
Only one Twin Falls resident spoke during the public hearing about the recommended city budget.
Council members approved rate increases in water, sewer and sanitation in a separate discussion. Water rates will increase .5 percent, sewer by 5 percent, and sanitation by 2.3 percent.
Among other council news, members also approved awarding $112,614.29 to Tennis and Track Co. for to replace deteriorating tennis courts with 12 pickle ball courts at Frontier Field, and another $103,076.10 was awarded to Jerome-based Idaho Materials and Construction for mill and inlay projects on several streets on the north end of town.