Prairie Township remains prudent when it comes to expenses and expects to once again run operations with a balanced budget in 2010.

Prairie Township remains prudent when it comes to expenses and expects to once again run operations with a balanced budget in 2010.

A special meeting and public hearing took place the afternoon of July 17 in order to discuss the coming budget. The purpose of the meeting was to allow the community as well as the board to comment on the draft budget.

When it comes to the general fund, the township projects that it will bring in approximately $1.6-million in revenue, with expenditures expected to be about the same. The projections show a $725 surplus by the end of the fiscal year.

Trustee Steve Kennedy said the budget looks a lot like last year's with a few exceptions. Some assumptions had to be made when it came to the revenue stream, he said.

"Investment revenue was at $200,000 last year and this year we have come up $50,000 short on the projections," he said. "We made cuts where we could make them and once again we have not cut staff."

Over the last four years the township has run a balanced budget without dipping into its rainy day fund, Kennedy said. Significant cuts were made, including the cost of running the senior center. That program now costs the township $83,000 annually rather than $200,000 when it was initiated.

"The budget is again balanced," Kennedy said. "Everyone is trying to do with less and make the money go a little farther."

Trustee Nicole Schlosser, who was not in attendance, forwarded a statement to the trustees that was read by township administrator Tracy Hatmaker.

Schlosser said each year is getting more difficult to ensure that the township is able to continue at current service levels within its revenue stream during the recession.

"Each year our revenues are decreasing in line items ranging from taxes collected to investment income," she said. "With that said, I believe that this board positioned the township to be able to endure this downturn for a couple of years."

Schlosser said she is proud of the department heads and their continuing focus on controlling expenses and matching revenues.

"The budget that was presented is in alignment with that direction," she said. "The township is continuing to explore additional revenue opportunities to ensure its future and growth."

Prairie Township resident Pam Williams said she has been impressed with how well the board has managed the taxpayers' dollars.

"I am very proud of these trustees and what they have done," Williams said. "I appreciate it."

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