Wilmington City Council's Finance Committee to Begin Its Review of the Administration's Proposed Fiscal Year 2015 City Budget

Posted on  04/07/2014 10:24 am

Council President Gregory and Finance Chair Freel Urge Citizens to be Part of the Process Either In-Person or by Viewing Live or Replay Telecasts on WITN, Channel 22 or at WITN22.org

Wilmington City Council will conduct a series of public meetings beginning on Wednesday, April 9 to review the Williams Administration’s proposed Fiscal Year 2015 General Operating Budget of $150 million and the Administration’s proposed FY 2015 Water/Sewer Fund Budget of $68 million.

Council President Theo Gregory and Finance Committee Chair Charles “Bud” Freel urge citizens to participate in this process by attending the public session of the committee or by watching the proceedings live or on replay on the City’s government television station—WITN, Channel 22 on the Comcast Network. The budget hearings can also be viewed anytime at WITN22.org.

“With proposals on the table from the Mayor for a 9.9% property tax increase and water/sewer/stormwater fee increase in the 7 to 8% range, Council will be thorough, fair and objective in its review of the entire budget,” said Council President Gregory. “An operating budget reflects a Mayor’s vision and values for a City, so while Council will be respectful of our Mayor’s vision, it will seek information from the Administration that also takes into account the vision and values of Council Members and the citizens we represent. I would anticipate much give-and-take and compromise between the Administration and Council before we head toward a final vote on the budget in late May.”

The budget hearings will be conducted by the Council’s Finance Committee, chaired by 8th District Council Member Freel. The committee also includes Council Members Loretta Walsh (D-At Large), Michael A. Brown, Sr. (R-At Large), Hanifa Shabazz (D-4th District) and Samuel Prado (D-5th District). Beyond the formal membership of the Finance Committee, it is customary for the Council President and other Council Members to participate in the budget review meetings.

All budget hearings will be held in the City Council Chamber on the first floor of the Louis L. Redding City/County Building at 800 North French Street in Wilmington.

“The committee will look closely at what the Administration is proposing to spend and how it plans to save money or cut spending and then balance that out with projected revenue totals for the next fiscal year,” said Council Member Freel. “In my view, it is more fiscally prudent for the City when the proposed fiscal year’s budget is not reviewed in a vacuum. In other words, how we handle this budget, and any associated taxes or fees that support it, could have ramifications on a variety of fronts not only immediately but in future years. We will be mindful of all of this as we go about our work over the next several weeks.”

City Council Finance Committee Budget Hearing Schedule

  • Wednesday, April 9, beginning at 4 p.m., Treasurer’s Office, followed by the Auditor’s Office and the Departments of Law and Planning;
  • Monday, April 14, beginning at 4 p.m., Office of Economic Development followed by the Department of Parks and Recreation;
  • Wednesday, April 16, beginning at 4 p.m., Department of Human Resources followed by the Department of Public Works;
  • Monday, April 21, beginning at 4 p.m., Office of Integrated Technologies followed by the Department of Licenses and Inspections and the Department of Real Estate and Housing;
  • Thursday, April 24, beginning at 4 p.m., Department of Police followed by the Department of Fire;
  • Monday, April 28, beginning at 4 p.m., Revenue projections will be reviewed followed by a review of the proposed budget for Finance Department;
  • Wednesday, April 30, beginning at 5 p.m., the Finance Committee will receive a presentation concerning the Water/Sewer Fund by staff from the Public Works Department.