06/15/07 — Goldsboro city budget gets closer to a vote

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Goldsboro city budget gets closer to a vote

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on June 15, 2007 1:45 PM

Goldsboro City Council members decided to keep the longevity pay system the same for current employees and created a flat rate for new employees at a budget work session held Thursday at City Hall.

The meeting was called to allow council members and staff to discuss salaries and other personnel issues.

City Manager Joe Huffman said one goal was to continue to work toward providing equal pay for equal work and to create a system in which salaries offered to current and new employees are competitive with other towns.

And while no firm solution was reached, he said he feels confident that the city's leadership is on the right track.

Thursday's session was likely the final one to be conducted before the $46.5 million-plus 2007-08 fiscal year budget is brought before council members for approval -- an action Huffman said will occur at council's Monday meeting.

"I think the budget is ready to go," he said.

Should the budget be approved, residents will not see an increase in taxes.

They will, however, pay more for water services, as Huffman recommended a 10 percent increase in water usage charges, a move he said would bring in close to $400,000 in additional revenue to city coffers.

And there are other notable items included in the proposed budget -- operating costs for the soon-to-be-completed Paramount Theater and the final payment associated with debt services on the Goldsboro Municipal Golf Course.

The Paramount is also responsible for the only new positions represented in the budget -- three staff members to work at the reconstructed theater.

Debt service for another downtown project, restoration and renovation work at the original City Hall, also is included in the budget. More than $418,000 will be paid during the coming year.

Some non-profits would benefit from approval of the budget, too.

In fact, after being denied early in the process, officials from Wayne Action Teams for Community Health made a "final plea" for an allocation of $20,000 needed to help in efforts to provide health care to the uninsured.

Some council members characterized their request as a "convincing argument," and said the city would benefit from having more organizations like WATCH.

A vote on the proposed budget is expected to take place at the council's Monday meeting, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the second-floor conference room inside City Hall.