City coffers enjoy surplus

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Despite a budget crunch last fiscal year that hiked up taxes, fees and cut department spending, the city government on Tuesday reported a $3 million budget surplus.

The city raised about $8 million less than expected last year, but it was departmental belt-tightening and an overly cautious allocation to Metro that left the city with money in its pockets, according to budget director Bruce Johnson.

Every city department spent less than their allotted budget, he said.
    
The surplus is double the amount expected from raising parking meter rates, which was part of the same budget.
    
Council members agreed that the unallocated money remain that way and be added to next years budget.
    
We can always find something to spend money on, said Councilwoman Alicia Hughes. But just because we can doesnt mean we ought to.
    
We should look at this as a down payment on next years budget more than an opportunity to spend money, said Councilman Rob Krupicka.

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