Operating under the assumption that they had until the middle of September to come up with a complete budget, Havre city officials assembled a preliminary budget for review at Monday night’s Havre City Council meeting.
The city’s clerk, Lowell Swenson, said at the meeting that city officials had just heard that their assumption is not true. This spring’s Montana legislative session implemented a new law trimming the deadline from 45 days from Aug. 1 to 30 days.
“This was the best we could do on two days notice, ” Swenson said. “We just heard from the League of Cities a few days ago that the law has changed. ”
Moving along with this accelerated timeline, the city will be reviewing the preliminary budget for most of the month, as well as having a copy of the 30-page budget at city hall for the public to view.
Then, on Aug. 30 at 7 p. m., the city will have their public hearing about the budget to gather input.
The following day the city will have to make any changes that may come from the public hearing before council meets at 7 p. m. to approve the final budget.
The preliminary budget cuts back more than $400,000, a 4 percent drop from $11,974,598 for last year’s budget to this year’s $11,519,389.
“It’s not looking too great, ” Swenson said. “There are some cuts. All of the department heads made cuts. ”