Martinsville budget deficit less than expected

City council to be presented with budget


MARTINSVILLE – The Martinsville City Council is about to get its first look at the city’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Earlier this year, the city was looking at the possibility of having to make 15-20 percent cuts to department budgets.

While big cuts may still have to be made, they likely won’t be 15 to 20 percent as previously thought.

“We felt that we would probably have to reduce somewhere between $900,000 and $1 million out of the budget. Fortunately, as we got into the budget work in the weeks and months following [our pre-budget work session] it didn’t turn out to be quite that bad,” city manager Leon Towarnicki explained.

The idea of 15 to 20 percent cuts was tossed around when the school district asked for an additional $657,000 in its upcoming budget.

“Because we did go back in and make some more reductions, we were able to reduce that sum down to about $300,000,” said superintendent Dr. Zeb Talley.

The district has since gotten money from the state, which will be applied to the district’s request. The district received the money to help offset the loss in state funding due to declining enrollment.

“We were fortunate. We did receive $134,000,” Dr. Talley explained.

But, even with the requested amount from the city reduced, the city still faces a big deficit so the district is prepared to make cuts if necessary.

Martinsville’s city manager didn’t want to go into detail Monday about the budget because it won’t be presented to council until Tuesday night.

One detail he did offer though is that the budget takes into consideration repayment of the loan the city took out to finance the ongoing sewer pipe repair project.

“Some of that will begin in the next budget year, all of it will begin in the subsequent budget year, which is FY 19,” said Towarnicki.

But, he says despite continued marginal revenue increases and all of the other challenges the city is facing this budget wasn’t as tough to put together as last year’s budget.

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