City budget vote passes with final $10K change

The Winchester Board of Commissioners approved a last-minute $10,000 change to its fiscal year 2019 budget Thursday, along with the budget itself.

The commissioners voted 3-2 to restore $10,000 in funding for Clark County Geographic Information Systems for the new fiscal year, which was cut as part of overall cuts to the city’s spending.

Clark County PVA Karen Bushart, who serves on the GIS board, said the agency was not aware of the reduction from $87,000 to $77,000 until after the first reading of the budget. If the other partner funding agencies make similar cuts, Bushart said the blow could be catastrophic.

“A $10,000 cut could be a $30,00 cut, which would cripple them terribly,” she said.

Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner said the reduction was part of a series of cuts throughout the budget.

“Our financial situation is not unlike a lot of other communities, but the budget we have to live with is for our community,” Burtner said.

GIS provides a number of mapping services to local agencies, including the city, county, school district and the PVA office, which calculates property values.

Commissioner Rick Beach, who made the motion to reinstate the funding, said the city approved a major storm water system project after the budget workshops concluded. GIS will be a huge help for mapping and due diligence, he said.

Commissioner Shannon Cox, who also voted no, has been a long standing opponent of funding GIS by saying the city doesn’t receive services equal to its funding level.

The commissioners then approved the budget unanimously.

In other action, the commissioners:

— approved a budget amendment to finalize fiscal year 2018.

— approved a pay plan for fiscal year 2019 to include a 2 percent raise for all city employees.

— accepted the downtown mast arm, Earlymeade-Rose Street sewer repair, soccer complex bathroom and North Main Street sewer repair projects for city maintenance.

— renewed the city’s self-insured health insurance plan.