Greenville City Councilmen propose budget cuts to save taxpayer money

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Greenville city leaders continue to work on a new budget for next fiscal year.

City Council still needs to hear budget requests from several departments. Yet already, two new city councilmen said they’re concerned about where the budget is heading.

They said Greenville is already facing a budgetary dilemma. That’s why Thursday night, they’re introducing a proposal that would force departments to rethink how much money they really need from the city.

McLean Godley and P.J. Connelly are proposing a 5% general fund reduction to free up nearly $4 million for the city.

WNCT 9 On Your Side asked Mayor Allen Thomas for his reaction. He released the following statement: “Input by all councilmembers is important. While the budget process hasn’t officially begun yet, financial numbers aren’t in yet to form set plans. It will be important to have everyone at the table as we continue the great progress we’ve seen in Greenville over the past 4 years.”

However, councilmember Connelly disagrees. He said the timing is right.

“It’s not terribly early. I mean the final budget in our new fiscal year starts July 1st. So you’re talking about roughly 3 months or 2 months that we have left to finally finalize these proposals. So I mean it’s something that needs to be out there,” Connelly said.

Connelly said the reduction will stop taxes increases and help the city stand on steadier ground.

After hearing budget proposals from several departments, Connelly said he’s concerned they continue asking for more money.

“It’s almost like a want list. You know and I’d really like to see them come to us and say ‘hey we really need this. We’ve looked into our budget and we can make some reductions in this part.’ It’ll free up some money across the board and it’ll help out some of the other departments or it’ll help out the city in general,” Connelly said.

Connelly said there’s now only about $100,000 separating the city from a deficit and his proposal would help eliminate that.

Greenville City Council meets Thursday at 6 p.m. in City Hall.

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