P&Z had figured it will have a shortfall of $21,000 by the end of the fiscal year, Chidester said. The $32,000 will be used to cover the anticipated shortfall and also replenish the money P&Z removed from a $30,000 "car fund" to help pay some of its bills. The fund was set up to purchase a "badly needed" car for commission business.
The city and county each originally allocated $39,000 to P&Z for this fiscal year, although P&Z had requested $44,000 from each body. As he had reminded the City Commission on Monday, Chidester said the court had told him to come back if P&Z needed more money.
Chidester told the court the P&Z commission was not going to seek additional funds from the city and county until it implemented its own belt-tightening measures.
Those measures include reducing the salaries of the commission's staff by 20 percent; reducing the number of regular meetings from two to one a month, which has allowed the body to save money on fees it pays its attorney; eliminating reimbursements to commission members for expenses; and cutting expenses for office supplies and gas.
In a few weeks Chidester will be returning the City Commission and Fiscal Court to ask for funds from the two bodies for P&Z's fiscal year 2009-10 budget. At its meeting on March 18, the P&Z the commission approved its proposed budget for next fiscal year and it includes $49,000 each from the city and county.
P&Z's proposed budget for next fiscal year totals about $212,000, compared to the $254,000 budget that the body put in place for this fiscal year. The proposed new spending plan anticipates a further decline in building permit fees, from the $85,000 it anticipated receiving this fiscal year to $60,000 for next fiscal year.