Selma City Council looks ahead to 2018-2019 budget

Selma City Council looks ahead to 2018-2019 budget
Selma city councilmen met for a special called meeting Friday to discuss budget issues. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

SELMA, AL (WSFA) - The Selma City Council called a special meeting Friday to address the budget issue the city has been having. As of March 1, the city has been operating without a budget.

The council had previously passed a 90-day extension from the 2016-2017 but that expired Feb. 28. It'd been nine days of standstill action until Friday.

"We put Selma first today," said one councilman.

At Friday's meeting, the council voted down the mayor's proposed 2017-2018 budget and passed a continuation of the 2016-2017 budget. It was Council President Corey Bowie that made the suggestion at the meeting.

"We are already six months into the fiscal year and your looking at 45 percent of the budget has already been utilized," said Bowie.

Mayor Darrio Melton doesn't see the decision as fiscally responsible.

"Unless they come back and amend it, that budget is just floating us along," said Melton.

Melton had proposed a $16.8 million budget Feb. 2 with $1.1 million grant reimbursement. While that budget featured major cuts, he said it tackled issues like trash pick up and pot holes.

"Things we are trying to get accomplished based off the revenue coming we can't get done with the 2016-2017 budget. that budget was steeper. ours was a smaller budget," said Bowie.

Bowie says with a budget in place until the end of this fiscal year its time to move forward.

"But one thing about the process we have learned is we need to go ahead and start it in a timely manner," he said.

The focus is now on preparing a schedule for a series of budget hearings in the next couple of months to be more properly prepared to pass a 2018-2019 budget at the end of the year.

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