The preparation of the fiscal year 2014/15 budget (http://www.muscatineiowa.gov/DocumentCenter/View/10708) involved an overall team effort by city staff and City Council. With the continued uncertainty that affects financial conditions in the state and the community, the challenge to continue high levels of service is one that city staff and Council must approach together. Decisions on the level of service to be provided throughout the community have generated and will continue to generate much discussion, especially when financial resources are limited and there is demand for services to be maintained at the same level or increased. The city will continue to look toward cooperative efforts between other governmental agencies in order to provide the best overall level of service to the community as a whole. However, it is important to be realistic in the expectations of the level of services as they match against the financial resources needed to provide for them. At some point the city will have to recognize it cannot provide all of the levels of service that are demanded by its citizens unless additional funding sources are identified to fund the cost of these additional services. Faced with this situation, elected representatives are forced to choose and prioritize levels of service in the community. Given that almost every service the city provides has a constituency base, future decisions are sure to draw criticism from those affected groups. It is unfortunate but it is a fiscal reality that this and other cities will have to grapple with well into the future. With strong leadership from the Mayor and City Council and a commitment to improve the quality of life in the community, the city staff looks forward to working with elected representatives and the citizens of Muscatine.
The above link takes you to the complete budget document for 2014/15, but the following are some of the keys statistics pulled from the budget document: