Work on city budget starts early next year

Published 4:32 pm Monday, December 18, 2017



It’s that time of year again. No, not the year-end holiday season.

It’s time for Washington officials — elected and others — to begin preliminary work on the next budget. That matter was addressed Monday during the City Council’s meeting,

“We need to adopt the 2018-2019 budget schedule,” Mayor Mac Hodges said. “I’ve seen, but it stays so far out that we can amend it as we go along. It looked fine to me.”

Council member William Pitt made the motion to adopt the schedule. Councilman Doug Mercer seconded his motion. The council voted 5-0 to adopt the schedule.

At the beginning of 2018, budget packets will be distributed to the city’s management team and outside agencies will receive forms regarding their requests for city dollars. Department heads and City Manager Bobby Roberson will review requests for funds for capital improvements Jan. 22, 2018. That same day, the council is scheduled to conduct a budget planning session.

Outside agencies wishing to receive city money are scheduled to make their presentations to the council Feb. 12.

During a meeting in April, the council instructed Roberson to notify the outside agencies and economic-development groups by letter that the city will re-evaluate its appropriations for them in the 2018-2019 budget. In recent years, the city has told the organizations their funding could be reduced, if not eliminated, as the council put together the city’s budgets during those years.

For the most part, the current budget, which ends June 30, 2018, reduced funding levels for the outside agencies by 20 percent when compared to the 2016-2017 budget. That reduction did not sit well with some of the outside agencies.

The newly adopted schedule has reviews of the general fund, electric fund and public-works spending set for March. The council is expected to conduct several budget workshops in the latter part of April. Tentatively, a public hearing on the proposed budget is set for May 14, with the budget being adopted May 21.





About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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