by Haley Burks
BIG SPRING - Creating a balanced budget no easy task for the City of Big Spring, with rising fuel costs, employee raises and new programs, and now residents will have to help make up the difference.
"This one we stayed up a lot of nights worrying about it," Peggy Walker, City Finance Director for the City of Big Spring, said.
Fuel costs just one of many factors that is hurting the bottom line with close to one million dollars budgeted.
"So when you take all of those factors and look at static revenue, the only way you're going to get a balanced budget is to have some fee increases," Walker said.
The city council is opting to increase city service fees.
"Sanitation rates are going up two dollars a month, plus a two dollar and fifty increase for water, and a slight increase for water consumption," Walker added.
Renovations to the Commanche Trail Golf Course are already paid for, but additional staff and maintenance is adding dollar signs to city expenses.
"Maintaining things we didn't have to use to maintain, driving range, extra golf carts, equipment that we've had to use on the old courses we're trying to make due until we get re-equipped for this course," Jack Birdwell, General Manager of the Commanche Trail Golf Course, said.
Walker says no job cuts or hiring freezes are needed at this time, but wishlist items are on hold.
"The basic large programs, we don't have anything built like that into this next year's budget," Walker said.
But citizens will catch a break the tax rate will stay the same as last years rate.