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June 27, 2013

First reading of budget pushed back

CORBIN — In a surprise decision Tuesday, the Barbourville City Council unanimously opted to move the first reading of the 2013-2014 budget ordinance to July 29.

The deadline for the new budget is July 1.

According to the agenda for Tuesday’s special-called meeting, the first reading of the budget ordinance was slated to take place.

However, Council member Darren West brought up Kentucky Revised Statute 91A.030, which states, “The budget proposal together with a budget message shall be submitted to the legislative body not later than thirty (30) days prior to the beginning of the fiscal year it covers. The budget message shall contain an explanation of the governmental goals fixed by the budget for the coming fiscal year; explain important features of the activities anticipated in the budget; set forth the reasons for stated changes from the previous year in program goals, programs, and appropriation levels; and explain any major changes in fiscal policy.”

However, according to Mayor David Thompson, all city council members were familiar with the upcoming budget — as all of them sit either on the Finance Committee or the Personnel Committee.

West and council members Ronnie Moore and Gary Williams comprise the Personnel Committee, while council members Wilma Barnes, Gerald Hyde and Sherman Lawson make up the Finance Committee.

He explained those two committees met several times during the last several weeks, preparing and reviewing the budget numbers.

“In the seven years I have been mayor of Barbourville, we have never failed to pass a budget before July 1,” Thompson said.

Until now.

Thompson added that the budget “was very tight” this year, and may likely be even tighter for the next fiscal year.

“They need to learn to work together as council members to keep Barbourville moving forward,” Thompson said.

It was also learned during Tuesday’s meeting that council members felt they needed more time to analyze the budget.

“The council voted for more time to review the budget,” said Helen Strong, city clerk. “They felt rushed to get it together.”

West motioned for this decision, so as of now the first reading of the 2013-2014 budget ordinance is slated for July 29.

“We can operate on our old budget until we have a new one in place,” Strong said, adding that a Kentucky statute covers that necessity.

The 2013-2014 budget ordinance, which will not be final until a council vote, shows $4,991,702 in total monies.

The appropriations for the city departments are as follows:

— administration is tentatively budgeted at $2,063,253;

— the Barbourville Police Department is slated to be budgeted $1,366,100;

— the street/road department has a tentative budget of $807,500;

— the Barbourville Fire Department is set to be budgeted $131,315;

— the recreation fund is tentatively set to receive $301,750;

— and the tourism fund is slated to be budgeted $321,783.

Thompson explained that the budget did get cut, but only within various city departments.

“At the end of the day, there is no increase on the property taxes,” the mayor said. “And the city will have the same number of employees — no one will have to be laid off.”

Two readings of the 2013-2014 budget ordinance are required by state law, and once council members approve the budget, it then becomes official. Current numbers are not official at this time.

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