Local News

Aug 22, 2013 5:57 PM by Andrew Ellison - aellison@kristv.com

City Budget Changes Could Save Taxpayers Millions

CORPUS CHRISTI - A new budgeting system from the city could end up saving you millions in taxpayer dollars.

It's one simple change in the budgeting process. Now, each department will plan out how much money they need five years in advance, instead of working year to year.

For example, the solid waste department has 154 vehicles in their fleet.

But the older the trucks get, the more money they have to pay for maintenance repairs. And when you're planning a budget one year to the next, you're barely able to replace the oldest ones, and that means more breakdowns.

So, the department will replace it's entire fleet over the next five years, all part of the new five year planning process.

In short, newer, state of the art trucks means cutting fuel costs, cutting hours of maintenance time, and increasing efficiency.

The city estimates the savings could be as much as $4 million in taxpayer dollars over the next five years.

It's not just trucks, new mapping software will program more efficient routes for drivers, cutting back on overtime.

Solid Waste Director Lawrence Mikolajczyk says they just have to make sure they follow the plan exactly as it's laid out. They need to buy the trucks exactly when they're supposed to be bought, and install the new software quickly.

"We have the plan laid out. We just execute the plan in a timely manner, and save people money," he says.

To be clear, the city will still go through a budget process every year. The difference is the discussions will include plans that extend years into the future, instead of simply dealing year to year.

And keep in mind, if these plans work, the savings should get bigger and bigger every year.

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