MILLEDGEVILLE — City manager Barry Jarrett presented Milledgeville City Council members with an unbalanced budget last week. Wednesday’s city work session ended with an agreeable balanced document totaling $12.5 million.
The City of Milledgeville chose to redirect just more than $3 million from the Water and Sewer and Solid Waste funds to address the budgeted difference in general fund revenues and expenditures for the coming fiscal year.
Jarrett reminded city officials that income has dropped in several areas. The ever-fruitful water fund can’t carry the city forever, according to the city manager.
“We are able to move those funds, and everything is OK doing that but I want y’all to know that the water fund is decreasing. As time passes, it’s going to be more difficult,” Jarrett said Wednesday.
This isn’t a foreign city move considering the past profits of water, sewer and solid waste operations. Jarrett said the general fund revenue has probably never been enough to handle expenditures.
“We’ve always supported that by coming back from the water fund,” he said.
Considering that the county no longer uses city water and the Central State Hospital water usage will most likely drop by early 2014 with the Craig Center closing, the city manager urged the alderman to adjust the status quo by finding other cost cutting or revenue raising methods.
“You’ve got to do something to correct it. I’d like to see us operate the way we’ve been operating but be very conscious to start to correct the problems we have in that we overspend in the general fund,” Jarrett said.
To attain the same budget balancing effect of the water and sewer transfer, the city needed to slice every department’s budget by 10 percent.
City Finance Officer Brenda Josey said several options beyond the fund redirection were considered during the budget process.