06/05/11 — City asks staff to look for expense cuts

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City asks staff to look for expense cuts

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on June 5, 2011 1:50 AM

Interim City Manager Tasha Logan met with department heads Wednesday to discuss staff responses to concerns the City Council voiced during its first budget workshop on May 10.

The discussion centered around ways the departments could find more efficient, cost-cutting solutions in how it operates.

"It was fact-finding to prepare for the budget work session," Ms. Logan said.

The council will set its next budget work session meeting date at its meeting Monday. (Council members) had been waiting on revaluation data that came in late last month.

"We're going through and trying to figure out what our revenue neutral rate needs to be and we're not sure what that is now. We're still working on those numbers, but we're looking at about a 12-percent growth in our tax base," she said.

Ms. Logan said appeals from property owners and other exemptions make the actual percentage difficult to pinpoint.

Interim Parks and Recreation director and Paramount director Sherry Archibald said the charges to the department heads were to examine personnel costs and to gather numbers from other municipalities for comparison and to see if there were innovative alternatives.

Ms. Logan said she asked the Parks and Rec staff to gather information about the golf course's grass and whether a change of greens would be more efficient. The issue arose at the last council meeting.

Other topics during the meeting included the prioritizing of street resurfacing projects, fuel usage and the Downtown Goldsboro Development Corp.'s business recruiter position. Ms. Logan said there weren't any other options presented to fund the position outside of DGDC's operating budget.

The meeting topics also included potential raises for city employees, which was something Ms. Logan said was discussed when the budget was initially put together.

"We were figuring out whether we would be able to absorb that in the budget," she said. "We're looking at additional places to cut and determining how we could cut and keep services the same."