- Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 May 2009 18:31
- Published on Wednesday, 13 May 2009 18:31
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The Colonial Beach Town Council met with Val Foulds and other town officials on Friday to discuss the fiscal year 09-10 budget. In attendance were Ronald Ridgely, Karen Payne, David Coombes, Stephen Kennedy and Mayor Rummage.
While discussing budget issues concerning the Chamber of Commerce Mayor Rummage asked to discuss the fireworks. It was discovered during the conversation that in years gone by the Town has always had to borrow from the next year to pay for the fireworks on the 4th of July. This happened somewhere in the past because the budget is not completed till the first of July and money to catch up is never available in the budget.
This year's 4th of July fireworks deposit has been paid from last year's budget and the balance will come out of next year's budget. Having two events back to back and each in a different fiscal year has caused some confusion for Council members to understand why the Town decided they could not fund this year's fireworks for festival weekend.
Councilman Ridgely stated that the Council decided back in October or November not to fund both sets of fireworks. “It was done as an economic business decision, you can’t fund an event you don’t have money for,” said Ridgley. “These are the tough decisions that have to be made, I enjoyed the fireworks just as much as anyone else and I paid for it at home. Fireworks flew at my house that night.”
Ridgely doesn’t want to cancel the fireworks but he cautioned the Council about operating in the red.
During town events the Town incurs a lot of hidden costs that people don’t look at, he said. Portable toilets, extra security and overtime for cleanup are just a few of the expenses Ridgely has looked at during the time he was assigned to look into town finances.
A lot of discussion, but no clear resolve resulted in all members wanting to fund future festival fireworks but not wanting to operate in the red.
Ultimately the Council recognized that the Chamber of Commerce has done an exceptional job at raising funds for the Festival weekend and Town residents have given much money out of pocket. The Council seemed to be in agreement with coming up with the difference if needed to make sure the festival fireworks go ahead this year.
Although the proposed fiscal year 09-10 budget shows a decrease in spending over the present year of $310,000 dollars, the Town still projects that they will fall $341,000 dollars short of their budget this year.
At press time a copy of the proposed budget was not available.
Aside from going line by line over the budget the Council decided; to become more educated on the figures given each week by Town Financial Officer Joan Grant, not to include items that would count as anticipated revenue in the budget until they are actually received and to anticipate revising the budget as often as needed.