05/06/14 — Council eyes city budget

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Council eyes city budget

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on May 6, 2014 1:46 PM

No increase in utility or solid waste treatment fees.

No funding for WAGES.

And no new taxes -- unless, of course, the city's $18.9 million Parks and Recreation bond passes today.

The Goldsboro City Council got its first look at the proposed 2014-15 budget Monday evening, a $54,038,688 spending plan that is up $1.6 million from the one passed last summer.

Under the proposed budget, the city tax rate would remain at 65 cents per $100 of valuation, but if the Parks and Rec bond passes, that rate would increase to 67.1 cents per $100.

Three new positions are also recommended in the plan.

The first, a police narcotics officer who would lead the DEA Task Force within the Goldsboro Police Department, stands to make $55,552 a year.

A new box office attendant for the Paramount Theatre would make $9,740.

And a military liaison who would "lead the effort to protect the mission of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base by coordinating and communicating with all involved parties" would receive nearly $54,000 for the year.

But the liaison position is not the only Seymour Johnson-related expenditure in the proposed budget.

The consultant fee line item for the mayor and City Council increased by $119,000 from last year's budget -- money that would be used for "Friends of SJAFB support."

Other significant increases from the 2013-14 budget include an additional $325,000 for street resurfacing, $40,000 to cover election costs associated with the Parks and Rec bond, $285,000 for the TIGER grant match and $54,000 to move the F-86 that is currently being restored by Seymour Johnson airmen.

There are significant omissions, as well.

The Boys & Girls Club requested $15,000 and WAGES $25,000 from the city and will get nothing.

Communities in Schools asked for $25,000 and, instead, was only allotted $15,000.

And WATCH requested $40,000, but, under the proposed plan, would only see half that amount.

Even the Chamber of Commerce did not get all they asked for -- the organization requested $20,000 and would only get $15,000.

Spending from the General Fund is set to increase by more than $2.6 million -- a figure attributed to a $326,000 pay class study, an equipment loan for fully-automated garbage trucks and containers, a street sweeper and fire pumper and increased spending on street resurfacing.

Should the council decide to go against the recommendation and increase the tax rate, the city would bring in $207,692 for every cent.