Aubrey predicts budget shortfall

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City officials likely will cut several services to accommodate proposal

AUBREY — Almost every Aubrey city department may have its budget cut because of a difficult budget season that has seen both decreased property values and sales tax revenue, leaving less for the city to spend.

According to the proposed 2012-13 budget, city officials are looking to cut services across the board, with the exception of the street, animal control services and parks departments.

During budget workshop sessions, city officials reviewed each department’s budget line by line, making cuts where needed.

City Secretary Isaac Linton said the budget cuts are necessary, given the nature of the economy.

“Revenues are down all over and people are spending less,” he said. “It’s something that’s happening all over the state and country.”

If the proposed budget is approved, departments will have to find options to manage their way around the cuts, and for now, city administration is leaving that up to the individual departments.

Earlier this week, Aubrey Public Library officials announced several programs were in danger of being cut if the proposed budget moves forward.

The library will lose about $18,000 in revenue, according to the city’s proposed budget. Kathy Ramsey, library director, and staff members said the budget cuts would result in the library ending programs that encourage learning among children and the elderly.

According to library staff, the library will probably lose Storytime and Seniors in Motion if nothing changes.

Last week, library officials began asking residents to voice any concerns to city officials by attending City Council meetings in hopes of holding off the cuts.

Ramsey said Storytime and Seniors in Motion are programs that encourage learning and good health.

Both would “sorely be missed and would leave a gap in library services,” a library release stated.

Linton said the budget has not been approved and it’s too early to assume what will happen, but the library is only one of several services that will have its budget cut.

“It’s not a matter of cutting just the library. Everyone will have their own cuts to manage,” he said. “If they choose to keep the programs, then they’ll probably have to cut something else, but that’s their decision on how they want to spread out their budget.”

Many departments could see cuts to their supplies, utilities and maintenance and operation costs. In the waste management department, the city proposes eliminating one position.

“When administration goes through the budget, departments are given a dollar amount of what they can spend,” Linton said. “If the library makes cuts to its programs, then that’s their prerogative.”

JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882. His e-mail address is jharden@dentonrc.com .

 

 


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