FY 2017 budget requests heard by city council
By Jan Murray firstname.lastname@example.org
Department heads in Daleville recently provided their budget requests for the upcoming 2017 fiscal year during a city council work session.City officials plan to approve a budget by early September.“The budget work session is the time to discuss capital outlays and allocations. The final budget includes all line items—electric, supplies, personnel costs,” said Mayor Claudia Wigglesworth, adding that budget work sessions were not done prior to her current mayoral term.“I think the discussion of spending priorities absolutely requires council involvement as they are the keepers of the purse,” the mayor said.Department of Public Safety Director Harvey Mathis, Department of Public Works Director Jerry James, Senior Center Director Laura Leger and Recreation Department Director Brook Beasley made their wishes for the coming year know. No representative from the library was in attendance, but a budget packet from Director Kathryn Brown was provided.Mathis asked for funding to build a partition at the entrance of the public safety building to better protect staff and officers. “It’s a different society out there now. We have to make it as safe as possible.” Councilman Bob Slagle agreed and said an upgrade to the security at the department is “long overdue.”Mathis also asked for funding for two additional police cars as part of the department’s seven-year replacement rotation, a shield radar, flooring and an unmanned drone. Mayor Claudia Wigglesworth tentatively recommended financing the two vehicles, the wall partition and the shield radar. In addition, she recommended approving, but not financing, the flooring and the drone.James asked for funding to pave Blackhawk Drive, Apache Drive and Skyline Drive at a cost of $226,720. He also would like to stripe an eight-mile stretch of Old Newton Road and Wildwood Loop in addition to Heritage Street, A.M. Windham Road, Troy Edmundson Road and Warhawk Road. The DPW hopes to paint lines on Holman Bridge Road and Snell Bridge Road. Wigglesworth said gas tax fund monies would cover the majority of the paving project expenses.James also asked for a new pole barn, storage shed, lawn mower and mosquito sprayer.Wigglesworth recommended the city budget $52,000 for striping projects, $226,720 for paving projects, $10,000 for a mosquito sprayer and $12,500 for a storage building. She also suggested the council consider approving, but not financing the lawn mower, the pole barn and an electric gate opener for the city barn.For the recreation department, Beasley asked for a part-time worker—25 hours a week for 35 weeks of the year—to help with concessions and game-related activities. She also requested a 15-gallon pull-behind sprayer and a pull-behind spreader to care for the parks, existing baseball fields and the new fields being built at Culpepper Park.The gymnasium at the Billy Adkins Recreation Center has no air conditioning, thus Beasley requested the city purchase an industrial fan since financing an air conditioning unit is not currently feasible.Leger would like to add an outdoor gazebo to the Senior Center grounds. She said it would encourage more outdoor activities as well as give the center another element to attract third-party renters, which is a revenue source. In addition, Leger said she would like the council to consider hiring a substitute employee for the times she or other staff has to be absent.Although the library staff did not make a presentation, the council did discuss the department’s budget. Items of note include a request for $5,000 to finance the library’s summer programs. Council members decided to provide $2,500. However at the next council meeting, the council voted to continue level funding at $5,000, after learning that a cut could cost the library needed state funding.“Department heads have the hands on/on the ground knowledge of what is needed to provide quality service and support to the residents of Daleville. Conducting the work session in an open public meeting is the only way residents can know what’s going on with their tax dollars,” said the mayor.