Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin and City Manager Jonathan Storage presented the administration’s recommended budget to members of the City Council Finance Committee Monday evening. The proposed $98.9 million budget used a blended approach— which largely examined departmental operation expenses, capital outlay expenses, city contributions and personal services expenses, including overtime costs—to close a $3 million budget gap.

“The last two years and eight weeks have afforded me the great opportunity to listen and learn what people of this great city want and need from their city government.  The people’s priorities are safe communities, recreational opportunities, pothole free roads, trash removal and economic growth. Those are the items this budget prioritizes,” Mayor Goodwin said.  “We have worked day and night for the last two months to create a budget that focuses on good management strategies and a commitment to the vibrant city we all want.”

The creation of the FY20 budget is different than in past years, as Mayor Goodwin is the first mayor to take office starting in January, leaving only eight weeks to create a budget for the next fiscal year.  The City’s budget is due to the West Virginia State Auditor’s Office March 28.

“We had to make difficult decisions, but we believe the overall result creates a balanced and equitable outcome that will reverse the tide of savings depletion and will pave the way for revenue and savings growth in the next fiscal year,” City Manager Storage said.

While having to make significant cuts, the administration was steadfast in not reducing resources for police and fire services, creating new fees or taxes or using one-time monies.

The administration’s proposed budgeted includes:

  • Increasing funding for building renovation and demolition by $225,000 (350% increase)
  • Reducing the City’s contracted services costs by $201,000
  • Reducing travel costs by $86,000
  • Increasing the City’s paving budget by $1.5M (for a total of $3M)
  • Eliminating the $400,000 expense for residential Trash & Recycling Bag Vouchers
  • Reducing the number of full-time positions by 21
  • Purchasing 15 new police vehicles, a new Ambulance, a Fire Department Pumper Truck and two new street sweepers
  • Reducing the City’s contributions to outside organizations by $189,800 (20%)
  • Reducing the City’s overtime budget by $390,000
  • Reducing materials and supplies by $358,000.
  • Reducing postage costs by $50,000.

For more information regarding the proposed FY20 budget, please reference the attached FY20 Budget Recommendations Highlights document.