Acting City Treasurer Steve Harrison hopes to have a revised city budget ready to present to the city council by the end of the year.

“It’s my goal to have it ready by the Dec. 27 city council meeting,” Harrison said. “We’re trying to develop a budget for the second half of the fiscal year.”

Harrison said he’s been working from 45 to 50 hours a week to revise the budget.

City Manager Susan Monroe said it has not been determined how much must be cut from the city’s current $17.6 million budget.

However, she said it won’t be any less than the $1 million which she has previously cited.

Harrison is trying to get a clearer picture of the city’s budget needs based on how much the city spent during the first third of the fiscal year, which began July 1.

Through October, the city expenditures and payroll were $6.2 million, he said.

Some adjustments will need to be made in projecting the payroll for the rest of the fiscal year. Adjustments will include cost-cutting measures which have benn enacted, Monroe said.

City councilors passed the current budget in June. Mel Stubbings, of the City Audit and Finance Committee, warned that the budget relied too much on overly optimistic projections of a 9.6 percent increase in sales tax collections.

Harrison said there were other problems with the budget passed earlier this year, before he became acting treasurer.

“You can’t rely on the previous numbers,” he said. “If I don’t have confidence in it, I have to research it myself.”

For example, Harrison said the part-time payroll for employees at the city’s swimming pools last year amounted to approximately $50,000.

In the budget the city council passed earlier this year, the payroll for part-time employees for the swimming pools had been cut to $38,000,” he said.

Harrison said he talked to Community Services Director Mel Priddy, the head of the division which oversees the pools.

“He said we’re actually looking at $52,000 payroll,” Harrison said. “He has no idea where the $38,000 came from.”

Other parts of the budget which the city is currently using has similar problems, according to Harrison and Monroe.

Harrison said he’s basically “having to redo the whole thing.”



Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com

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