Whitehall City Council is expected to approve the city's 2019 general-fund operating budget Dec. 18 at the final scheduled council meeting of the year.

Legislation appropriating $32.6 million for the budget was introduced Nov. 20.

The ordinance is expected to receive three readings and be approved Dec. 18, Whitehall Auditor Dan Miller said.

The general-fund budget is balanced, but scarcely, leaders said.

As proposed, the budget indicates general-fund revenue of $32.64 million, just $7,928 greater than the estimated general-fund expenses of $32.63 million.

If the estimated carryover of $7,928 occurs at the end of 2019, the city's general-fund cash balance, an accrual of overages from past budgets, will grow slightly to $7.53 million.

"It's a tight budget, but it was also something we foresaw," council President Jim Graham said Nov. 21.

Whitehall Mayor Kim Maggard instructed council members to review the budget and report any questions or concerns to the administration, Graham said.

Discussion was expected at Whitehall's council committees meetings Nov. 27.

A second reading of the ordinance is scheduled for Dec. 4 and a third and final reading Dec. 18.

Within the $32.6 million general-fund budget, the budget for the Whitehall Division of Police is $7.48 million, with $5.25 million going to the fire department.

The budgets include the salaries of police officers and firefighters.

The city's budget for employee benefits citywide is $8.08 million and includes police and fire pensions, Public Employee Retirement System contributions and medical-, dental-, vision- and life-insurance premiums.

Other department-level budgets include $1.6 million for the auditor and treasurer's office; $1.1 million for parks and recreation; $1.08 million for the mayor's office; $559,400 for the service department; $394,200 for the city attorney's office; and $293,280 for the human-resources office.

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