Jamestown Mayor Dwaine Heinrich has a goal to get the city's general fund reserves to a $2 million level.

Heinrich and the City Council took their first look at a proposed 2020 budget Tuesday during a special meeting.

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"Too early to tell yet," he said. "Don't know if we can get there in just one year."

City Administrator Sarah Hellekson said the general fund is projected to end 2019 with a balance of $1.7 million.

Heinrich said the budget meeting gave the council a better idea of where the city stands financially after a long winter where snow removal and other staff shortages cost the city about $229,000 in overtime so far this year.

"I'm really pleased where the budgets are for the current year," Heinrich said. "The snow removal costs were up the most."

Hellekson said the planned budget changes the city's accounting structure. The Jamestown Street Department will be moved from the general fund to a new stormwater utility fund. In 2019, the city budgeted $1.8 million for street department expenses.

The new stormwater utility fund will collect about $500,000 per year from the stormwater utility fee. The city plans to transfer money from the utility funds, most likely the water fund, to cover the balance of the street department expenses, Hellekson said.

The bulk of the money for the general fund comes from property taxes along with permits, licenses, state aid and revenue for services such as the Civic Center.

Hellekson said the city was still in the process of projecting ending balances for its water, sewer, sanitation and solid waste funds.

Discussion during the meeting did not include salary adjustments for employees, equipment purchases or any adjustments to utility costs for city residents.

One big ticket item discussed was a new ladder truck for the Jamestown Fire Department. The current ladder truck was purchased in the 1990s by the state of North Dakota for the JFD's use in providing fire protection to the State Hospital.

An effort to secure funding from the state of North Dakota for a new truck failed during the 2019 legislative session.

Jim Reuther, Jamestown fire chief, said a new truck could cost between $800,000 and $1.1 million.

"One way or another we have to figure out a way to replace this," he said, referring to the old truck.

The next budget meeting is set for 2 p.m. on June 18 prior to the regularly scheduled Jamestown Finance and Legal Committee meeting scheduled at 4 p.m.