Fiscal Budget Talk Begins

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The 2006 fiscal year is drawing to a close and that means the city commission will have to come up with a new budget for Fiscal Year 2007.

And that's exactly what they began doing at Tuesday's special work session.

City manager Kevin DeFebbo outlined his proposed budget which included changing the occupational tax for citizens.

"A recommendation that we lower the occupational tax from 2 percent to 1.9 percent. That will save taxpayers about a million, hundred, thousand in the first year."

DeFebbo's plan also calls for allocating money to work on capital projects for the city, namely the overcrowded roads.

"We're also recommending that we spend approximately 6 million dollars to improve many of our roadways. In particular, the Shive Lane connector to take some of the traffic off of Scottsville Road.

He says the city will be able to do this because it actually has a surplus of revenue due to high growth within the city.

"We do not need all that revenue at this point to run this company. That was brought on primarily by the huge growth spurt. Growth as we mentioned in the meeting is a 2-edged sword. It creates demand for services."

And DeFebbo says he wants the city to have a comprehensive plan to help deal with this influx in the next fiscal year.

"A strategic growth plan will allow us to figure out just where we want growth to occur, how we want growth to occur, come up with a strategy for financing that and planning for those improvements."

Also mentioned in DeFebbo's proposed budget is using some of the surplus funds to pay off existing debt the city has and using some of the money to increase public safety.

The commission is scheduled to work throughout the month of June to prepare the final budget.