Council Will Introduce an Amendment Tonight to the FY 2014 Operating Budget and Meet on June 27 to Vote on the Amendment

Posted on  06/20/2013 3:37 pm

Wilmington City Council President Theo Gregory said today that City Council will introduce an amendment to the FY 2014 Operating Budget at tonight’s meeting and will meet again next Thursday (June 27) to vote on the amendment.

Gregory said amendments or adjustments to a budget are typically made during the one month period between passage of the budget in late May and the July 1 effective date of a budget. He said Council has determined that a few changes to the balanced budget approved on May 30 are appropriate for further review by the Finance Committee which will meet on Monday, June 24. The Council President said his goal is to have the budget changes approved by Council and in place by July 1 when the new fiscal year begins.

Council’s budget amendment would add approximately $487,000 to the City’s approved budget, for a new fiscal year General Operating Budget totaling $145.6 million. The revised budget would still leave the City with a surplus of $108,141 instead of the $297,000 surplus which was factored into the budget approved by Council on May 30.

If approved by a majority of Council on June 27, the budget amendment is intended to accomplish the following:

·         Restore $300,000 to the Mayor’s Office contingency budget—an amount that had been removed from the budget by Council in May to be used as leverage in its budget dealings with the Administration. Council President Gregory had previously stated publicly that this funding would be restored to the Mayor’s budget once the FY 2014 budget was officially adopted.

·         Restore $18,000 to the City Planning Department to enable the Department to hire a staff person to assist persons with disabilities. This amount would be coupled with other funding within the department to complete the hiring.

·         Restore approximately $89,000 to the Human Resources Department to fund a position that would help manage the City’s multi-million dollar Kronos System which tracks the daily work hours of employees and provides accountability for work practices.

·         Provide an additional $80,000 to the Finance Department’s budget so the department can hire more temporary workers to collect revenue. The Council President said Council is taking this action after discussions last week with Fred Sears, Chairman of the Wilmington Economic and Financial Advisory Council (WEFAC) after the Administration requested that WEFAC meet this week to consider lowering the City’s revenue projections for the new fiscal year. Sears informed Gregory that the Administration told him that additional funding is needed to hire temporary revenue collection staff so revenue projections for FY 2014 can be achieved. Once the Council President assured Sears and other WEFAC members that a budget amendment would be introduced tonight, WEFAC cancelled its scheduled meeting.

In order to add the additional budget resources listed above, Council is revising two appropriations made in the original May 30 approved balanced budget. The first is $250,000 originally appropriated by Council for an enhanced trash and recycling collection program, which the Administration has indicated it is not ready to proceed with at this time. The second change involves an original appropriation of $142,000 to a minority business development program which is being reduced to $50,000. The difference of $92,000 is being applied to the revised budget items listed above.

“As the Administration and most citizens know by now, City Council indicated throughout the FY 2014 budget process that it was willing at any time to meet and discuss the budget or negotiate budget-related issues with the Williams Administration,” said Gregory. “Our legislative branch wants to continue to work cooperatively with the Administration. Such cooperation, we feel, will help both the Administration and Council keeps its focus on the many other important issues that are facing the City in addition to the budget.”