Be conservative with budget

Weirton City Council will meet tonight to begin the process of determining the city’s budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

The budgetary year doesn’t begin until July 1; however, under state code, the city must have a budget submitted to the state by the end of March. Adjustments, if needed, can be made later.

Weirton has been in good shape financially in recent years. The city also has been lucky, not having many major increases in expenses and not having to look at large numbers of staff reductions as some other area municipalities.

The city has taken a conservative approach to its budget for many years now, only preparing to expend those funds officials were certain would be available and that decision has paid off.

We urge them to continue in that direction as it is certain some funding sources – such as video lottery revenue which has steadily decreased in recent years – may not be as readily available as in the past.

There will be many decisions before council when the workshop begins at 6:30 p.m. in Room 201 of the Weirton City Building. Many programs are required to be funded as a result of existing law or contracts. So it can become a task to determine what programs to fund with the leftover funding.

Street maintenance, parks, the library, vehicle replacement and new equipment are just a sampling of some of those programs sure to come up during this budget process.

We encourage Weirton’s elected leaders to take their time and go carefully over all of the proposals while forming the budget.

In addition, as with any workshop or council meeting, this session will be open to the public, so anyone interested in learning more about the budget process and where your tax money is going should stop by.