City's preliminary general fund shows deficit

November 30, 1999|By TARA REILLY

The City of Hagerstown's preliminary general fund for the coming fiscal year contains a deficit of $760,595, but staff members think they can reduce the shortfall without a tax increase.

"With tweaking, we think we'll be able to manage that (deficit)," city Finance Director Alfred Martin said Friday.

The Hagerstown City Council on Friday held its first of a number of meetings to go over the fiscal year 2007-08 budget, which would take effect July 1.

City staffers plan to include in the budget money for nine new firefighters and two additional police officers.

The proposal for the additional firefighters drew strong support from Councilman Lewis C. Metzner, who said he had no problem "taking the heat" if the budget needed to be cut elsewhere in order to fund the nine positions.

The preliminary general fund for fiscal 2007-08 lists total expenditures at $37,502,528, but total revenues at $36,741,933, resulting in the $760,595 shortfall.


City staff members will submit a total budget, including capital projects and a balanced general fund, to the council by March 31, as required by the city's charter.

The city council then will meet several times to review the budget and make changes. The city's code requires the county to adopt the budget by the end of May, according to information provided by the city.

Martin and City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman were optimistic about balancing the proposed budget.

"We think we have a manageable situation for (fiscal 2007-08)," Zimmerman said.

But the city could be facing more general fund deficits through, at least, fiscal year 2011-12

Preliminary projects show a tentative shortfall of $2.7 million for fiscal year 2008-09. The preliminary deficit is $3 million in fiscal year 2009-10, $3.1 million in fiscal year 2010-11 and $3.1 million in fiscal year 2011-12, according to the city.

Staff members attribute the preliminary shortfalls primarily to the cost of wages and benefits being higher than the amount of revenues being taken in, according to a memo from Martin, Zimmerman and Assistant Finance Director Ray Foltz.

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