Prudent Budget Cuts Approved; Ten New Officers on Hold

Updated 5 years ago by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor
Council file photo
Council file photo
Revenues have slowed, but Mayor Steve Williams told both at a Monday city council work session and council meeting Nov. 24 that "we are catching it early. The sky is not falling."

Williams said first quarter revenue has showed a "softening" of B & O , Sales Tax and Wine and Liquor tax collections. Last year the State of WV suffered a 7% drop. Williams explained the drop has just now hit Huntington, noting that state tax results generally take one year to work down to Huntington.


"We are not off track or in trouble," Williams explained stating this assures that we do not overspend.

As a result, the Mayor has instituted a hiring freeze and a 4% budget reduction as "prudent" proactive fiscal decision making.  Should the projections change i.e. an improvement, the reductions could then be restored. He told HNN that the projected drop in revenue is $1.8 million dollars.

Although council has authorized the hiring of ten additional police officers, the process is now on hold. Those boots were to hit the street in 2015 as part of the River to Jail initiative. 

"We can't afford to hire them (now). If there's no money, we can not spend it," the Mayor explained. However, the postponement of their hiring will not "interfere with the River to Jail operation. We have (been) using the police overtime budget for River to Jail tactical operations."

The cuts will be in area that do not affect day to day operations. He emphasized there will be no layoffs, no furloughs, or partial closing of City Hall.

"I'm trying to avoid crippling departments. We're moving money to assist in cash flow," the Mayor said.

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