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Wilmore approves FY21 budget amid COVID impact concerns

The Wilmore City Council unanimously approved a $6.2 million budget for the new fiscal year, which is very similar to the existing one.

Mayor Harold Rainwater said the new budget includes a 2 percent raise for all city employees except the mayor, council members and anyone making more than $50,000 annually. It also includes a 2 percent increase for utilities to combat a $120,000 deficit.

The budget includes no cuts to salaries or personnel, he said, or elsewhere in the budget. Changes, though, may come later depending on the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

So far, there has been little financial impact to the city.

“We’ve only had one quarter to adjust to it,” Rainwater said. “Asbury hasn’t cut any of its employees, but they told us there will be some furloughs. That’s why we’re a little nervous.”

Rainwater said the city’s 2 percent payroll tax generated about $1.2 million annually. The college, seminary, Thomson-Hood Veterans Center and Wesley Village make up about 85 percent of the city’s payroll tax revenue.

“A 15 percent cut in payroll taxes would be devastating,” he said.

Wilmore Financial Director Lori Vahle said there are six people on the city payroll who make more than $50,000. The pay increase also applies to a handful of regular part-time employees as well.

According to the budget, the city anticipates ending the current fiscal year June 30 with a balance of $3.13 million. Revenue is listed at $3.14 million with $3.135 million in expenses.

The city’s proprietary funds, which include the utility and sanitation funds, show a carryover balance of $2.9 million with $3.44 million in revenue, coupled with $3.37 million in expenses.

The council has to approve a second reading of the budget before the fiscal year ends June 30.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0051.

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