PARKERSBURG -Members of Parkersburg City Council will get their first look at the city's proposed 2011-2012 budget tonight.
City officials will hand out copies of the budget to council tonight, while Mayor Bob Newell delivers his annual budget address.
Newell provided the Parkersburg News and Sentinel editorial board with a look at the proposed 2011-2012 budget. The budget includes a freeze on longevity pay and about $300,000 in additional employee health insurance premium costs.
Mayor Bob Newell outlines details of the 2011-2012 city budget
"I did what I said I would do all along," Newell said.
The city's proposed budget, of $23.718 million, for this year is about a million more than last year's budget of almost $22.7 million. Newell attributed that to increases in costs, including liability insurance.
The budget contains several hundred thousand dollars in federal (pass through) and development grants.
Photo by Jess Mancini
Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell discusses the proposed 2011-2012 budget with the Parkersburg News and Sentinel editorial board Monday. According to Newell, the city reduced expenditures by more $926,000.
"With the (money projected from the user fee) and the cuts we made there is no difference," he said. "No revenue. It's just off-setting costs."
For the budget year, officials are anticipating $2.145 million from user fee collections next year.
Officials had previously estimated the fee would generate about $2.5 million.
By the Numbers
- Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell will present the city's proposed $23.718 million budget to city council tonight.
- This is up almost $1 million from the 2010-11 budget.
- The city is expecting almost $310,000 from increases in police and fire pensions ($263,000), liability insurance ($26,304) and electricity costs ($20,000).
- Officials are anticipating $2.145 million from user fee collections next year.
Newell said officials had to be conservative in estimating the revenue from the fee into the budget. Officials are not expecting 100 percent in collections and worry the actual number of workers who pay the fee may be less than the figures from by the U.S. Department of Labor.
The city is expecting almost $310,000 from increases in police and fire pensions ($263,000), liability insurance ($26,304) and electricity costs ($20,000).
According to figures provided by Newell, the city reduced expenditures by more than $926,000, including more than $460,000 from the police and fire department. About $300,000 of those reductions are from health and life insurance, the result of increases in employee portions of health insurance premiums.
Newell said the city has cut supplies, but plans to still make purchases: six police cars, a street sweeper and a cardboard bailer for the recycling center. The city also will replenish about $107,000 into the unemployment fund.
Newell said the possibility still exists the city may have to lay off employees.
"We need to build that fund back up," he said.
With the proposed budget the city will retain about $400,000 in capital reserve. Newell said the money is needed for unexpected expenses, such as major street repairs.
Last year the city encountered major road and utility repairs at Woodland Park and W.Va. 14 near Wal-mart.
Newell is allocating $200,000 for streets. Officials are studying if CDBG money can be used on streets in low-income areas.
The mayor said economists are still predicting a one-to-two year time frame before municipalities begin to rebound from the economic downturn.
"We will have to continue to make more cuts over the years," Newell said.
Council will consider two resolutions authorizing the hiring of a parking ticket writer for the parking department and four part-time positions for the Memorial Bridge, in order to maintain current part-time schedules and fill vacancies when needed.
The two resolutions were approved by the Personnel Committee last week.