MONTE VISTA - Last Wednesday Sept. 25 members of Monte Vista City Council met to continue to go over the budget draft for 2020. Much of the draft remained the same as last year with very minor changes to expenditures and revenues.
The City’s IT department did see a bump in expenditures for their operating equipment. They are going to install a highly comprehensive camera system at Monte Vista City Hall. The new camera system will have outside security and will be viewable from any desktop. They will even have remote access to view the new security system. They will be installing 32 cameras throughout the facility and they will cover everywhere in the city from the police department to city hall. The current camera system is quite outdated and so they hope these modern updates will help with security. “The system we have in place pre-dates me being here. It is using analog cameras and as you can well imagine quite a few of those have died over the years,” said Monte Vista IT director Jim Belknap.
“It’s an increase, but I think it sounds like a good idea. We’ve needed to do it for a while,” said Councilor Kathleen Ellithorpe. Councilor Victor Sigala asked how long they anticipated this new camera system lasting. “They said that they expect to get at least 5 years of use from the new system. The cameras they said were also not very expensive to replace. Giving us this base, we’ll be able to replace anything that fails very cheaply,” said Belknap.
The IT department was also able to cut down on some costs in the last couple of years by using computers they got from the police department. By refurbishing them they have been able save some money. However, in the future they will have some replacement costs, as the equipment wears out.
The street department also saw some changes in salaries. One thing the street department is hoping to do administratively is add a new position that is involved in water, waste, street, and shop. The job title would be that of an operation supervisor. Currently this role is being filled by Rob Vance who is head of public works. In addition to his duties as the head of public works, he has taken on all of these extra jobs. “We really think he has a lot of talents and we’re spreading him way too thin. We have been since he’s gotten here. He does a great job, but a little assistance would be useful,” said City Manager Forrest Neuerburg. They are hoping they will be able to fill the position internally.
The street department was also able to save some money by using LED streetlights. By installing the new and more energy efficient lights, Monte Vista has been able to save thousands of dollars. Last year the city budgeted $54,000 for city lighting and this next year they project it will only cost around $36,000.
With all of the projected revenues for this fiscal year, Monte Vista city government is optimistic that they will reach their million-dollar budget goal.