Preliminary 2017 Budget Meeting

Fargo’s mayor and commissioners are in the middle of number crunching. The mayor must present next year’s budget before Sept. 1.

City officials gathered to talk about the preliminary budget and give everyone a chance to ask questions.

The 2016 budget came in at $94 million.

“What we do is discuss with the respective departments then we talk about goals about where we need to go. So i feel it’s a budget we all prepare, and I think we’ve had good input this last year and I anticipate doing it this year.” said Fargo Mayor, Tim Mahoney.

Some commissioners are concerned with the patterns the city has made, such as raising the budget annually.

“To automatically do the 5% every year, I don’t think it’s right. It’s actually kind of dangerous. If we ever had a down turn in the economy. And the budget stayed flat, we almost wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves.” says Tony Gehrig.

Last year, $45 million in state and local revenue and property taxes made up half of the cities income. Public safety was the biggest expenditure at nearly $35 million.

It takes meetings and meetings, to put it all together but city members haven’t forgotten who it’s for.

“I hope we can always step up the public, personal engagement aspect of government I really do. I think that’s a priority to have the people have a confident sense that they have a representative voice at the table” says City Commissioner John Strand.

The city identified that for 2017 public safety needs are increasing as well as the population and size of the city.

The budget will be set in stone by Oct. 7.