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City budget reforecast approved

A budget reforecast that has informally guided the city since nearly the beginning of this year was officially adopted as ordinance by the Dickinson City Commission at a regular Monday meeting.

A budget reforecast that has informally guided the city since nearly the beginning of this year was officially adopted as ordinance by the Dickinson City Commission at a regular Monday meeting.

City administrator Shawn Kessel said the expenses in the reforecast had not been revised since the commission last viewed the document for a first reading in its mid-May meeting at City Hall.

Kessel said the revenue side of the equation has increased and the city is now anticipating a balanced budget.

"With those changes, I'm happy to say that we are no longer anticipating a use of cash," he said.

He added that reductions to skill-based pay were eliminated from the reforecast and will not play a role in the 2016 budget.

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Commission President Gene Jackson said he thought the adjustments were good, but that the city was "chasing our tail" throughout the year as the regional economy experienced volatility.

Still, Jackson said he believed the city would be fine as it moved forward.

Kessel said the volatility of western North Dakota meant any reforecast would likely be inaccurate.

"We do our very best to get it as accurate as possible, but at the end of the day it will be wrong," he said. "It would be a miracle if we get it right."

Jackson said he believed the "biggest value" of the reforecasting effort could be its ability to guide the process of building out the 2017 budget.

The commission approved the reforecast ordinance unanimously.

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