Por­terdale fac­ing huge bud­get short­fall

The Covington News - - Front page - By Rachel Oswald

The lack of any new build­ing per­mits, a per­son­nel shakeup and the gov­er­nor’s or­der to sus­pend a lo­cal grant have all con­trib­uted to what Por­terdale of­fi­cials say is a $200,000 bud­get short­fall for the city.

Por­terdale City Man­ager Tom Fox briefed the city coun­cil on the bud­get short­fall at a work ses­sion last week and said they would have to find a way to bal­ance the bud­get by the end of the fis­cal year in De­cem­ber.

Fox said he told the coun­cil that they ba­si­cally had two op­tions: raise taxes and ser­vice rates or slash spending. Fox said he has been di­rected by the coun­cil to do the lat­ter.

“My march­ing or­ders are to cut ex­penses,” Fox said. “We will not be rais­ing taxes to com­pen­sate for any deficits, any bud­get short­falls.”

Be­cause the coun­cil is in a con­sen­sus that they don’t want to raise taxes, Fox said it looks like the short­fall will have to be made by lay­ing off city work­ers, pos­si­bly as many as three-full time em­ploy­ees.

He at­trib­uted the short­fall largely to the lack of any new build­ing per­mits and no new sewer and wa­ter tap fees this year as the hous­ing mar­ket has com­pletely stalled in Por­terdale.

Fox said when the bud­get was writ­ten for the year, city of­fi­cials thought they were on the con­ser­va­tive side when they bud­geted for at least 25 new houses be­ing per­mit­ted in the year equalling $158,000 to the city from build­ing per­mits and wa­ter and sewer tap fees.

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