New Carlisle City Council approved the city’s operating budget for 2017. The budget, which exceeds $6 million, must be submitted to the County Auditor by April 1.

“I would have liked to have seen a 10% across the board cut in expenses,” said Council Member Ethan Reynolds, “but if we don’t have a budget submitted by April 1, we can’t spend any money. That means no police, no fire, no water.”

Reynolds added, “We only have three days’ worth of water in the tanks, and I don’t particularly care to bathe in the creek.”

“If we were to cut expenses by 10%, the city would be out of business,” said Mayor Mike Lowrey. “If you went into work and your boss said he was cutting your salary by 10%, you’d probably walk out.”

The main problem some council members had with the budget is the line item for water revenue. Council members were advised that any discussions on water rates should have been made at a work session.

Public Works Director Howard Kitko informed council that limb and brush pickup will begin in April. He said that the city can handle small amounts of brush, not whole trees.

He also advised that city crews plan on completely rebuilding a small stretch of Rt. 235 in front of Wot-A-Dog. Crews will be replacing the pavement down to ground level. Work will begin when the asphalt plants open next month.

City Manager Randy Bridge announced that the official launch of the city’s participation in the State Auditor’s Online Checkbook will be on April 3 at the council meeting. “All of the bugs have been worked out, and we’re ready to go,” said Bridge.

The Online Checkbook gives residents an opportunity to see where their government dollars are going, and leads to more transparency in government.

The next meeting of the New Carlisle City Council will be on Monday, April 3 at 7:00 p.m. at the Smith Park Shelter House. The public is invited to attend.