SIKESTON -- City Manager Doug Friend presented council members with an overview of revenues since 1997 and expenditures for unrestricted funds since 2005 during a special budget preparation meeting Tuesday as part of what he called the "first informational meeting for the Council on the budget process."
Also presented was a chart comparing actual revenues from the 1-cent city sales tax with planned revenues.
Mayor Mike Marshall commented that much of the city's deficit spending appears to have been on unbudgeted items such as the purchase of the Robey building at the corner of South Kingshighway and West Malone and legal expenses related fighting a proposed increase in railway traffic through the city.
"These are the things we consider coming out of reserves," he said. "What I think we need to do is watch our unbudgeted items."
Councilman Jerry Pullen agreed the city needs to "sit back a year and not buy anything extra."
Marshall said he thinks it is also important to get the Department of Public Safety fully staffed.
Friend said he will present council members with budget requests from city departments during the next budget preparation meeting scheduled for 7:15 a.m. Monday.