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Sussex Countian
  • Georgetown council enters budget talks facing $387K deficit

  • Georgetown’s residents will get their first look at the projected 2013-2014 town budget at tonight's 7 p.m. Town Council meeting.
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  • Georgetown’s residents will get their first look at the projected 2013-2014 town budget at tonight's 7 p.m. Town Council meeting.
    Initial budget estimates show the town will run a deficit of $386,837, Town Manager Gene Dvornick said Monday.
    The goal of the Wednesday meeting is to brief Mayor Michael Wyatt and the four council members on the town’s financial status, and then set in motion a process to eliminate the shortfall, Dvornick added.
    “Our financial staff and the department heads will go through the items submitted and see if anything can be postponed, deferred or eliminated,” the town manager said. “We will be working toward a balanced budget.”
    Currently, Georgetown’s general fund, which receives property taxes, monies from police fines and town parking meters, is projected to be $2.9 million, with expenditures projected at $3.2 million, resulting in an anticipated deficit of more than $300,000.
    Revenues for the wastewater fund are expected to be $1.9 million, with more than $2 million in outlays, for a projected deficit of $96,414.
    Georgetown’s water fund is expected to show a surplus; it is projected to receive nearly $1.2 million in revenues, with expenditures of $1.15 million.
    This year, the town’s staff will be presenting requests for new personnel positions in several departments, Dvornick said. The number of town employees has decreased steadily over the past few years, while the amount of work done by those employees has not, he added.
    “In 2007, we had 48 employees; in 2013, we have 35 employees, and not a stitch of work has gone away,” Dvornick said.
    Other increases in the general fund are being driven by outlays for new vehicles and building repairs. Increasing costs for the chemicals necessary to run the town’s water and wastewater plants also have affected the budget, he added.
    After this initial presentation, which is open to the public but not to public input, Wyatt and the council will meet in an April workshop to hear alternatives presented by the town staff intended to eliminate the projected deficit.
    Currently, Dvornick does not anticipate any increases in taxes or fees, but added the ultimate decision will be up to the council.
    “Our goal is to present a fully balanced budget with no increases in fees or taxes,” he said.
    Work on the 2013-2014 budget must be completed and approved by the mayor and council before Wednesday, May 1.

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