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Blackfoot prepares budget amid $1.4M projected shortfall

Blackfoot prepares budget amid $1.4M projected shortfal

BLACKFOOT, Idaho - The City of Blackfoot is facing financial hardships, and it could cost taxpayers money. On Tuesday the City Council presented its proposed budget. One of the biggest concerns out of the 43-page proposed budget is the money being spent for health insurance for city workers.

The city is projecting a roughly $1.4 million shortfall for next year. Dan Cravens, who ran against Mayor Paul Loomis, was asked by Loomis to look at how the city can cut costs.    

He said the city should not raise salaries for workers and should stop hiring for now. When cravens was running for mayor he did tell voters that the city would face this problem. Meanwhile, Loomis ran part of his campaign on reducing the tax burden and continuing the strong tradition of fiscal responsibility.

"Being fiscally responsible we have got to balance the budget and be able to do that so if we're going to provide services at the current level we are not going to reduce manpower," said Loomis. "The tax burden appears it will go up, but we are doing everything we can. For instance, the swimming pool committee will look at those areas that we can tighten our belt on."

"Maybe some of the equipment that is proposed to being purchased can be held off on for a bit. The second thing is salary and hiring, perhaps maybe being a little bit less generous in raises in the future at least until the current situation is abided," said Cravens.

Loomis said city property tax on a $200,000 dollar property would be about $300.  

A public hearing and comment period is set for Aug.19 at 7 p.m. It will be held at the city offices.

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