Saturday, October 25, 2014

Proposed budget

Lynchburg City Manager Kimball Payne announced the City of Lynchburg’s proposed budget for 2014 on March 12. The budget includes funding for many different areas in the city, according to Payne’s proposal.

“We’ve had a number of difficult budgets over the last four years, especially January of 2009,” Payne said. “We’ve made a number of adjustments, such as cutting spending and erasing tax increases in the new budget and including a pay raise.”

According to Payne, the proposed budget includes money for the general, capital, airport, water, sewer and storm water funds, among others. Without the beginning funds and transfers between them, the total amounts to $318.1 million.

The 2014 budget is different than previous budgets. The 2013 budget proposal totaled $294.6 million, and the 2012 budget amounted to $306.6 million.

The obvious increase between the budget proposals is due to more spending on capital projects, fleet expenditures and the general fund.

According to Payne, the main goal for the new budget proposal was to maintain a level of services, public safety and fire emergency rescue services, as well as to improve parks and the city in general.

This budget mainly affects teachers, schools and city employees, Payne said. The proposed budget supports an across-the-board pay increase for city and school employees for the first time since 2008.

“After several years of very challenging budgets, it may be reasonable to ask how we have arrived at this place,” Payne said. “We are not in this position by happenstance. The last four years have been characterized by diligence and discipline, by sacrifice, and by tough decisions such as cutting positions and raising taxes.”

In the proposal meeting, the Lynchburg city council said that they would work to ensure an environment in which all of the residents of Lynchburg are free to pursue their dreams, hopes and aspirations through a commitment to meet the public’s needs.

If approved, Payne’s proposal will take effect July 1, 2013 and remain in effect until June 30, 2014.
The city council will vote on the proposed budget several weeks from now, following numerous public meetings and discussions.

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