BG City Commission Passes "Zero Budget"

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The Bowling Green City Commission voted unanimously Tuesday night to overhaul the way the city constructs its budget, at least for this year.

Commissioner Brian Strow introduced the "Zero-budget" resolution, which will require every organization that receives city funding (including city government departments) to present a priority list and explain why each projects should receive funding.

Historically, the city builds a new budget by adding a standard % raise to the previous year's budget for each department.

"Think it's a good idea because it helps the city prioritize its spending. Rather than just spending money on things because that's the way we've always done it, we look at each individual item and say "what is this item doing to benefit the city?" said Strow.

"It'll be more work, but we'll get it done," said City Manager Chuck Coates. Coates and Chief Financial Officer Davis Cooper will meet with Dr. Strow next week to hammer out specifics of the new approach before the city begins its budget planning in earnest in February. The new zero-based budget will go into effect in fiscal year 2006, which begins July 1.