Helena city officials wrap discussion of preliminary budget prior to Monday presentation

Helena city officials held their final public discussion Wednesday of the first draft of the city budget for fiscal 2020 and 2021.

City Manager Ana Cortez responded Wednesday to questions put forth by city commissioners regarding street maintenance and storm water assessments. Cortez will present the full preliminary budget at Monday’s commission meeting, which will represent the first time Helena is setting its finances in order for the next two fiscal years instead of one.

Staff previously discussed increases to park-related assessments — specifically 37 cents to Open Lands assessments, $1.50 to Urban Forestry, $4.16 to streets, $3.01 to water and $1.72 to waste water — at an April 29 meeting. Cortez mentioned at the time that those numbers are not final and likely wouldn’t increase, but could fall in Monday’s preliminary budget.

The recent discussion largely centered on a potential increase of the city’s street maintenance assessment.

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