Powell's proposed 2010 budget is a "status quo" budget, said Steve Lutz, city manager.

Powell's proposed 2010 budget is a "status quo" budget, said Steve Lutz, city manager.

"A status quo budget in these times is tremendous news," Lutz said during the first reading of the budget at council's meeting Nov. 17. "Many government units have to cut services, and this budget doesn't cut services to residents or businesses; it maintains the same programs and services we have this year."

Powell's general fund expenditures for 2010 are expected to be $6.57-million, up from 2009's $6.26-million expenditures.

The general fund is divided into two categories -- operating and non-operating expenses, said Debra Miller, finance director.

Operating expenses are personnel salaries and benefits, utilities, gasoline, office supplies, capital equipment such as copiers and the few vehicles the city has.

Those 2010 expenses are estimated at $6.15-million, up from 2009's $5.72-million.

Non-operating expenses are transfers of money to other funds such as the city's general fund reserve or debt services, including payments on the bond that paid for the police facility which is about $200,000 per year, Lutz said.

He said a previous council decided to pay the bond for the new police facility -- completed in 2007 -- out of the general fund.

The non-operating expenses are estimated to be $427,350 for 2010, down from 2009's $487,260.

For the second year, the city is budgeting in the red, Miller said, explaining that spending is expected to outpace revenues.

In recent years, the city built up a carryover general fund balance, which in 2008 peaked at $5.68-million, Lutz said.

In 2009, the city began "dipping" into that fund balance, Miller said.

At the end of 2010, the fund balance is estimated to be $4.75-million.

Lutz commended the council on its fiscal prudence.

"Both this council and councils in the past during all those good years (showed) everybody was prudent and put some money away for times when the revenues would not be as strong," Lutz said.

"We are able to tap into some of those revenues until the economy strengthens itself," he said.

bbutcher@thisweeknews.com