Bethel looking at budget reductions

Bethel Fiscal Officer Bill Gilpin has given council members an update on the 2012 tax budget, and while he had some good news, he is predicting reductions in the future.

Gilpin said the village is chipping away at the negative balance in the general fund, however like a number of local governments, Bethel is looking at reductions in the near future because of state funding.

Gilpin said he spoke with state representatives about the reductions in the local government fund, and although the numbers weren’t final yet, he said they were looking at a six to eight percent reduction in funding from the state.

With the reductions, he said the general fund could decrease each year moving forward. In 2011 he said the local government fund provided almost $150,000. That number will decrease to around $93,000 in just a couple years.

“I’m holding hope that the economy will recover,” Gilpin said at the meeting. “And they’ll pump some money back into the local government fund.”

Gilpin said the worst case scenario is that the village will have to make reductions to account for the reductions on the state level. He said $40,000 to $70,000 would likely come from the police department, because it is a large expense.

As far as 2012 expenditures go, he said he spent time studying them but not changing them.

“We will study this in much more detail in the fall,” Gilpin said about the 2012 tax budget.