Lack of funding for Nampa stormwater project could affect public safety budgets
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The Nampa City Council voted 3-1 last Tuesday morning to repeal an ordinance set up to collect fees for the Nampa stormwater project.
The project had previously been paid for by homeowners in the city, whether or not they use the utility. The vote has shifted a $2 million financial burden to the city’s general fund. Nampa’s police and fire department budgets, which constitute over 80% of the general fund, will now be competing with stormwater project expenses for funding.
Without an alternative funding source for the stormwater project it could mean a 5% cut to the other budgets that utilize the general fund.
The Nampa public safety entities are no strangers to budget cuts. During fiscal year 2009/2010, fiscal year 2010/2011 and fiscal year 2011/2012, Nampa Fire Fighters L-804 and Nampa Police Protective Association negotiated contract concessions consisting of foregoing a 5.5% pay raise for firefighters and a 3% pay raise for police plus over $100,000 in uniform allowance.
The fee collected from homeowners for the program was called unconstitutional - the basis for its repeal. The City Council has not discussed these changes and whether they have a plan for the budgeting of the program. All homeowners fees collected will be reimbursed out of the general fund, which is $12 for most.