Valdosta, Georgia-June 22, 2012-
A local city has approved its budget for next year. But it's up $8-million dollars and that means pulling more money from reserves.
Valdosta's City Council voted unanimous to pass the budget Thursday night. The council wants citizens to know that the budget is balanced and it is conservative. On the flip-side of the coin, reserve funds are being used to offset revenue shortfalls in the city.
The budget is set for $86-million dollars, up from $78-million the year before. That money is for major projects like $2-million for the new Waste Water Treatment Plant and $4-million for several SPLOST projects in the works. Another $2-million for water/sewer depreciation. Some of it will help replace old firetrucks and jail fees are way up as the city has to pay the county jail to lock up city residents.
"We've been as frugal as can be. Everything has been cut, cut, cut. And we still ended up having to take some money out of reserves. Which this is the last year we'll be able to do that. Next year if the economy doesn't pick up there will be some severe cuts," says Valdosta's Mayor, John Gayle.
Mayor Gayle says the tough economy has forced the city to have cutbacks in every single department.
Now despite all these cuts, no jobs have been lost and no furlough days are planned, but as far as raises go, you might as well be speaking a foreign language for city employees.