City Commission finalizes budget for upcoming fiscal year

Published 10:11 am Monday, June 5, 2023

Throughout several recent meetings, members of the Winchester City Commission have discussed the city’s budget and what it should look like for the upcoming fiscal year.

At a special 3:00 p.m. meeting at Winchester City Hall, last Tuesday, the reality of those numbers became one step closer.

The Winchester City Commission finalized numbers on several budgetary factors related to personnel, projects and more throughout the city.

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An official vote of approval for each item awaits until a following meeting on Tuesday, June 6.

“We got a lot of business to cover, a lot of ground to cover this afternoon,” said Winchester City Manager Mike Flynn at the beginning of the meeting. “Our goal as a city office is to generate and provide services to our citizens and provide those at high levels.”

Money used for the budget is split across different portions, including the General Fund.

Flynn acknowledged that $6 million worth of general fund surplus would be utilized during the upcoming to balance the operations and maintenance requirements for the budget.

Money from the city is going to be transferred as well.

The capital portion of the budget includes monies from ARPA, or the American Rescue Plan Act, and CARES, or The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

Several denominations were given out based on the original budgetary request.

For example, $9400 was provided to the Planning Commission, in line with the request of Director of Planning and Community Development Rob Jeffries.

However, this was not without debate in all cases.

Initially, $17,000 was recommended for the Clark County Animal Shelter.

However, there is a willingness for the Commission to move that number up to $18,500 to cover additional needs at this time.

Other organizations where money is being transferred include Kentucky River Foothills and the Clark County Chamber of Commerce.

At the same time, local events such as the Pioneer Festival, Beer Cheese Festival, Farmers Market and more will be provided for.

Chief James Hall of the Winchester Police Department and Chief Chris Whiteley of the Winchester Fire Department were present.

“During summer months, we’ll be making use of our electric bikes a lot more,” said Hall.

The City Manager’s recommendation for supplies and materials to the Winchester Police Department totaled $302,250.

Chief Hall confirms that the Winchester Police Department is fully staffed.

Chief  Chris Whiteley of the Winchester Fire Department mentioned differently.

“We are understaffed, but the outcome is positive,” he said.

Mayor JoEllen Reed expressed gratitude for the work of the City Commissioners and other agencies.

“Thank you all for working so hard on this,” Reed said. “It’s been a long process, but it’s also productive and I think it’s outstanding work.”