Income $100,000 short of expenses
By Ronda Frances Jefferson
At the Bridgeville Town Commissioners meeting on Monday, July 10, the town budget and management of funds came under fire. For the past two months, the commissioners have had to vote to pay the bills as funds become available.
Joe Conaway, a resident of the town who also served as county administrator for 14 years and school board president for two years, attended the meeting to express his concern over the situation.
The budget for the new fiscal year that was presented during a June 19 special meeting shows many departments will be operating in a deficit. For example, the police department expects total expenses to equal $237,800. Total income is estimated at $162,000, leaving a total deficit of $75,800.
Other department deficits are less. The street department expects income to be $58,000 and expenses to be $70,608, but a possible expense of $20,000 for the capital outlay might not happen this coming year. The water department listed and expected a deficit of $2,038 and the general fund one of $9,150.
The wastewater department, however, does not expect a deficit. The income expected is $333,330 with expenses at $333,329.
Since the budget was not balanced, Commissioner Charles Singman motioned that the budget be adopted as presented for the first quarter. The commission will come up with an alternative budget by Oct. 1. As it stands with this budget, the total expected expenses are $912,075 with income of $812,480.
According to president Jack Dalton, expenses will have to be eliminated or taxes may have to be raised. In order to raise taxes, the commission will have to approach legislators to increase the current tax base. Right now, the town can only collect up to $200,000 in taxes.
Other ways to raise revenues would be to raise some fees or reducing salaries.
Also, since the police department is the biggest expense, some residents feel the
department can be reduced and that the commission can approach the state police
about help in patrolling the area.
In other business, Raymond Taylor was given permission to block off the corner of
First and Cannon streets to hold a religious meeting. This function will be held on
July 22 at approximately 4 p.m. Taylor said that he would be speaking. The event
would also include singing and praying.
Also, last month, the commission voted to fine Cannon Cold Storage (Pet Poultry) $100 a day for having failed to submit a preliminary engineering evaluation by May 16. This fine totaled $300. Upon further review of the code, it was found that Cannon Cold Storage was in compliance as the letter was postmarked by May 16. Consequently, the fine was repealed.
Dalton also mentioned that the town is trying to implement community trash pick-up. One service has already expressed interest in providing this service for the town for 250 clients.
Dalton said the residents could choose between keeping their current service or changing and saving "as much as $30 to $36 a quarter." According to the town attorney, "An ordinance needs to be passed before bids can be solicited."
Margaret Sipple, streets commissioner, mentioned that she is getting quotes to have some trees trimmed that overhang streets.
Some larger vehicles, namely buses, have reported that they have trouble traveling through the area.