Morgantown establishes 2012 budget
Published: Thursday, March 15, 2012
Updated: Thursday, March 15, 2012 00:03
Members of the Morgantown City Council finalized a general budget plan for the 2012-13 fiscal year and discussed increasing revenue for the city during a special meeting Wednesday.
The council revisited the $24 million budget introduced during the March 6 meeting, and considered the revision to include a gradual implement of change in the budget.
"The idea is you take what you have in place at this time, and adopt the current budget with the revisal that we adopt this idea of granularity," said City Manager Terrance Moore.
Moore’s plan for granularity includes a long-term analysis of the budget to avoid making last-minute changes prior to the budget’s adoption. Moore said his plan also consists of quarterly budget updates and an analysis report that will be made available to members of council and the public.
The purpose of the reports will be to gradually determine where money can be saved, Moore said.
He said the areas of emphasis in the analysis would include the money spent on city take-home cars, travel and training expenses, as well as overtime and compensation.
"The analysis will include direction for us to report those savings. This is something a good professional system should do," he said. "It will not happen now, in one week or in one month – it’s about executing granularity."
Third ward councilor Wes Nugent agreed with the long-term revisions and said he believes Morgantown should mirror the successful efforts of other communities throughout the state.
"We have to come up with a plan – it’s cooperative. We have been very fortunate in our community, but we still should take an aggressive approach," Nugent said. "We have this budget, and by looking at other communities you can see it’s more of a long-term process and making decisions about the budget that way."
Members of the council also discussed the threat to the city’s business and occupation taxes due to the national increase of gasoline prices.
"With gas prices going the way they’re going and have been projected to go, I don’t believe we’re going to get $24 million- that concerns me," said deputy mayor Ron Bane.
Mayor Jim Manilla emphasized the need to be proactive in generating business and occupation taxes in the city despite the nation’s current economic situation.
"The main thing is, we need to go out and get B&O tax," he said. "Even with everything going on in Morgantown, we still need to be more proactive. We need to develop some type of plan, maybe an out-of-the-box idea, to generate more revenue."
Moore said his plan of granularity could help develop and determine a successful plan to generate revenue. He said through economic development opportunities and studying the reports and analysis, a clear plan could be determined.
"The goal is to be more pronounced about it, more clear about it and there will be more granulation. It’s something I’m passionate about," Moore said. "With these reports, we’ll be able to determine how that savings is to be managed and allocated."
The next City Council meeting will be Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Morgantown Municipal Building. For more information on the Morgantown City Council visit www.morgantown.com/council.