Whitehall Mayor Kim Maggard said she focused on public safety and maintaining high-quality services as she prepared the city's 2018 general-fund operating budget.

"The budget is solid," said Maggard, though it carries over just $27,820 -- or less than 0.001 percent -- within the $31.9 million budget.

"The way I work a budget is to be conservative in income and high on expenses," said Maggard, adding the city is prepared for any unforeseen contingencies.

The city's estimated general-fund income for 2018 is $31.97 million and its general-fund expenses are estimated at $31.94 million, a difference of $27,820.

The 2018 budget provides for two additional employees in the police department: an additional position of crime analyst and a new grants administrator.

The police budget is $7.26 million, up from a projected budget of $6.72 million for 2017.

The grant administrator will work on behalf of all the city's departments but is housed within the police department, Maggard said.

The fire department's budget for 2018 is $5.18 million in 2018, up from a projected $4.74 million in 2017.

The city added one new firefighter in 2018, but increases in salary and benefits for existing personnel in multiple departments also are a factor in the increase, Maggard said.

Other budgets at the department level increased only marginally; that for City Council dropped from $136,600 to $124,300.

The budget for the mayor's office increased from $726,735 to $825,176.

The mayor's office has an additional employee in its technology department in 2018, and the city's full-time technology director was on board for only seven months of 2017, Maggard said.

The parks and recreation department budget is up almost 50 percent, to $1.2 million in 2018 from this year's projected budget of $839,150.

Park improvements are a strong focus for 2018, Maggard said, including the initial phases of a multiyear plan to improve Whitehall Community Park.

City Council President Jim Graham said he supports the proposed budget and only "brief discussion" occurred during the Nov. 27 meetings of council committees.

A third and final reading to adopt the budget is scheduled for the Dec. 19 meeting of council.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo