On August 6, the Bowman City Commission voted to confirm the 2020 City of Bowman budget.
By Frank Turner
Compared to last year, the total Mills stayed the same, however amount levied by the city increased by 2.4 percent. President of the City Commission Lyn James said that when creating the 2020 budget, the commission worked to keep a similar amount of Mill Levies to past years.
“[The Commission] is working really hard for the community to make sure things stay as close to last year’s budget as possible,” she said.
Although the remained relatively consistent, there were some notable changes in the distribution of funds compared to the 2019 city budget. Notable changes in the 2020 city budget included a new Building Maintenance Fund, a 21.38 increase in the Street Department Budget, a 96.56 increase in the total street infrastructure budget, and a broad increase in healthcare and worker compensation costs.
According to James, the new Building Maintenance Fund will go to maintenance work for city hall and boulevards along Highway 12.
James also explained that a large portion of the 21.38 increase in the Street Department Fund was a result of a new curb and gutter project and more snow removal funds.
“There are some areas where there has been damage over the years,” said James. “[This 2020 project] will go toward curb repairs throughout the city.”
James attributed other large swings in the budget to large year-to-year infrastructure projects and oil revenues. This year, a chip sealing funding project funded by oil and gas revenue almost doubled the Street Infrastructure Budget.
James pointed out many of the City’s projects are funded through alternative sources than just taxes. Much of the City’s funds come from sources like gas and oil revenue and state government funds. Out of the $1,704,429 general fund budget, only 21.8 percent is derived from property taxes.
“One thing I think that is interesting is that people don’t realize is that, for example, it costs $39,000 a year just to run the street lights,” she said. “Creating the budget is about making sure the Mill Levy is consistent with what we have had over the past few years all while making sure that the community has the best services and facilities that they can have in our community. We really work hard to make sure Bowman stays a viable community.”