During a second budget work session Tuesday afternoon, the Newton City Commission heard presentations from the Public Works and Parks departments.

The common themes were higher fuel prices causing costs to increase and the need for additional staffing as the work load continues to increase with the growth of the city.

“We’re seeing a 13 (percent) to 15 percent increase across the entire department mainly because of increased fuel costs,” said Suzanne Loomis, city engineer/public works director. “A lot of the materials the department use are petroleum based, which show the direct correlation to the increased fuel costs.”

She highlighted the unavoidable increases due to increased costs — mainly due to increases in petroleum-based products such as fuel and paving materials.

Other increases to the 2009 budget include:

• Additional funding for the neighborhood sidewalk improvement project from $40,000 to $100,000.

• Increases in utility bills because of additional street lights adding in the past year as new developments were built and rising costs

• As street miles maintained by the city increase, paving marking costs increase, as well as other materials to keep the street in good condition.

• Also in conjunction with the growth of the city is an increased workload for city employees.

Loomis presented the addition of two new full-time employees in the street department — a maintenance worker and equipment operator, which would increase the budget by about $70,000.

Tim Johnson, community development director, also has a need for additional staff as the workload has increased.

With a 60 percent increase in acres of land maintained since 2005, the staff continues to have issues getting the workload completed on schedule, Johnson said.

The addition of two full-time employees would help increase the effectiveness of getting things done on time.

For the Park and Public Facilities department, the overall budget increase — without the additional staffing — is about 3.8 percent, or $50,237. On individual line items, vehicle operating expenses will increase about 15 percent because of fuel costs.

City commission members told Johnson to include the additional staffing in his department budget for their consideration.