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Tuesday, December 20th, 2011
By William Kincaid
City departments given funds to meet payroll
  CELINA - The city police and public works departments were appropriated additional money to make payroll for the last period of 2011.
Council members last week approved an emergency ordinance directing city auditor Emily Stewart to appropriate an additional $22,000 from the unencumbered balance of the general fund to the police payroll.
In a letter to Celina Planning and Community Development Kent Bryan, also acting as the city safety service director, police chief Dave Slusser wrote that this year's budget was basically a duplicate of last year's budget, when police personnel took drastic steps to build a carryover.
"Therefore, when we mirrored the 2010 budget, we mirrored those cash savings," Slusser wrote. "Also, the issues that plagued Grand Lake in 2010 led to the lowest overtime costs for summer festivals in the 33 years I have been with the police department."
In 2010, officers were sent home from overtime shifts at the Lake Festival at 9 p.m.; the Governor's Cup Regatta was canceled; and Freedom Days had much smaller crowds, Slusser said.
"With the lake issues lessened in 2011, these overtime costs returned," Slusser wrote. "All of these factors have combined to cause the funding for police payroll in (the) 2011 budget to run short."
According to budget sheets, $872,055 was appropriated this year for personnel costs - not including benefits - for 16 full-time officers.
Council members approved the appropriation for the public works department Monday night.
That department needed $12,500 because of additional work by city workers on street projects, Bryan said. The appropriation comes from a line item within the department's own budget.
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