City Council Covers Ground at Budget Session

By Julie Perine on March 07, 2018 via

Bridgeport City Council held a productive meeting Monday evening as members met to discuss the proposed budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year.
“We took the entire 50-page budget and went over it page by page,” said Mayor Andy Lang. “It was very uneventful as there was very little push back, just some minor items here and there.”
Lang said proposed adjustments to the $15.3 million budget total only about $20,000.
“There were quite a few questions on clarity – where things stand – but this is a very detailed budget,” Lang said. “They’ve done a really good job for a long time keeping that up. It’s very clear to see where the money comes from and goes to.”
The budget session will resume March 12. Lang estimates that the group will only have to meet for about 30 minutes to finish ironing out the proposed budget.
“We have another meeting scheduled for March 19 but we won’t know until (March 12) whether that will be needed,” he said.
Council first received the working budget at the Feb. 26 Bridgeport City Council meeting. It was provided during a work session which preceded the regular meeting.
City Manager Kim Haws said then that a significant amount of request had already been eliminated in order to balance the document.
“We’re projecting a fairly level amount of revenue this year,” Haws said. “We don’t anticipate a major drop, but we obviously don’t know. We have no reason to believe there will be.”
As always, the working document features proposed expenditures which have been prioritized.
“There are priority A items which, in the past, have been included in the one-time (business and occupation) tax discussion, usually around May,” Haws said. “Priority B items are those that – if we still have money left over after one-time B&O tax, we’ll start chipping away at. Most are considered by Council after July when we get an actual fund balance amount that comes in.”
Priority C items are also included, but not as likely to be funded.
In addition to potential personnel increases, expenditures deal with requests made by various city department heads.
“Generally speaking, I think our administrative staff and department heads feel pretty good about this,” Haws said, asking Council members to carefully review the draft and to make any questions or concerns known.
Finance Director Monica Musgrave said one area of revenue which is decreased this year is property tax revenue.
“Typically, we look at adding $100,000 or so and this time it’s gone down by $8,800,” she said. “This is the result of legislation passed in 2017 regulating inventory values for Pratt & Whitney, Bombardier, etc.”
Also affecting city revenue, Musgrave said, are four Chapter 11 bankruptcies to date since Jan. 1 of businesses located at Meadowbrook Mall.
Editor's Note: Photos were taken during the Feb. 26 Bridgeport City Council work session. 

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