05/16/14 — Council eyes proposed budget; cuts, expenditures under scrutiny

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Council eyes proposed budget; cuts, expenditures under scrutiny

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on May 16, 2014 1:46 PM

Organizations seeking funding from the city of Goldsboro will have a chance Monday night to plead their cases.

The City Council will hear from groups looking for financial help in the 2014-15 budget at its meeting Monday night. Council members got their first chance to discuss the proposed city budget during a work session Thursday morning.

Councilman Charles Williams Sr. said he is concerned that the city should do more to support certain non-profit agencies, specifically WAGES, which had asked for $25,000 from the city but was denied the money in City Manager Scott Stevens preliminary budget.

The money would be used to support WAGES' Means on Wheel program.

"Why do we not see that as a priority?" Williams asked.

Stevens explained that municipalities do not normally serve as funding sources for assistance programs and that counties are usually the government agencies approached for such support.

This is the first year that WAGES has asked the city for money.

Stevens said the program deserves support but that he does not consider it a city function and that the Council has to watch how it spends every dollar.

"I think we all care," he said, responding to Williams' comments. "From that standpoint I would like to help everyone. So I take it from where, $25,000 to get a police car?"

Mayor Al King said the city funds many programs but has to look at its priorities before determining which agencies get money and which don't.

"It's always a tough sell," King said.

Stevens said he realizes it is becoming harder and harder for organizations such as WAGES to find the money they need to stay afloat.

Councilman Chuck Allen asked if community development funds were available to fund other organizations.

The city's $50,000 in community development funds is already fully appropriated for the year to other organizations, he was told, including the Boys and Girls Club of Wayne County and Literacy Connections.

Other organizations that have asked the city for money but appear to be coming up short are WATCH, the Wayne County Museum, Wayne Uplift and Communities in Schools.

Representatives of the organizations seeking city funding will be able to express their opinions Monday night at a public hearing on the budget during the Council meeting that begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall.