The city of Montgomery zeroed out its nearly $4 million 2019-20 budget in workshops, ironing out the details of line items in the absence of former City Administrator Jack Yates.

City officials met on Aug. 22 to continue budget workshops on the city’s proposed $3.87 million budget. Attendees included current City Administrator Richard Tramm, Council Members Rebecca Huss, John Champagne and Tom Cronin, City Secretary Susan Hensley, Court Administrator Kimberly Duckett, police Chief Anthony Solomon and Director of Public Works Mike Muckleroy.

The officials discussed slightly altering several small line items, such as community building rentals and street repairs that needed clarification because funds or expenditures were placed in unspecific items by Yates.

“We’re done with the Jack involvement in the budget, Jack involvement in the decision making,” Huss said. “This has not been an easy process because we’ve had help.”

The officials agreed they were not placing blame on any individual, but the budget simply needed to be streamlined and simplified.

“This is a little thing, but if you’ve got about 50 little things, it becomes a real one,” Champagne said. “We’ve got to start somewhere.”

Tramm also directed $175,000 from the general fund into the capital maintenance fund for street and sidewalk improvements. But all in all, Tramm said he tried to be conservative with estimates in the budget.

“I wanted to keep a conservative assumption,” Tramm said. “I didn’t want to be in a position of promising more than we could deliver.”

The final budget still requires approval from City Council. The council’s next regular meeting is on Aug. 27 at 6 p.m. at 101 Old Plantersville Road, Montgomery.