GLASGOW – The Glasgow City Council on Monday approved the city’s budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1 and took a step toward reworking an interlocal agreement that was previously voted down.
The council unanimously approved on first reading a budget that calls for roughly $22.119 million in expenditures, roughly $710,000 more than the budget for the current fiscal year.
Notable features in the budget include $500,000 for improvements to the city’s parks system and $342,000 to fix the failing light system at the Plaza Theater.
Council member Wendell Honeycutt said the budget is a good one. “It is balanced. The revenues are slightly more than expenses,” he said.
The budget said revenues are expected to be roughly $22,120.
But Honeycutt said there are worries that expenses could surpass revenue in the near future.
Glasgow’s largest source of revenue is its occupational tax, a 1.5 percent tax on wages earned in the city, Honeycutt said. Because a few local factories have closed in recent years, occupational tax revenues have been decreasing, he said.
“It’s going to take more revenue at some point in time, so that’s why economic development is so critical right now,” he said. “To try to get that payroll tax back up.”
Concerns over how to spur economic development took up a large portion of the meeting.
At the council meeting May 13, it voted against a measure to restructure and fund the Barren County Economic Development Authority.
The future of the authority, also known as the IDEA Board, is unclear following the retirement of director Dan Iaconi and the city’s refusal to provide $60,000 IDEA would need to hire a new director and perform other functions.
The motion that failed at the previous meeting was voted down after complaints from council member Terry Bunnell that the agreement would give Mayor Harold Armstrong and Barren County Judge-Executive Micheal Hale too much control over the IDEA Board.
The motion called for IDEA’s makeup to consist of the mayor of Glasgow and two of his appointees, the judge-executive and two of his appointees and the mayor of Cave City and his one appointee.
Bunnell said he would rather see local business leaders represent the city of Glasgow in the board and suggested having council members meet with fiscal court members to discuss changing the proposed interlocal agreement that would allow IDEA to continue.
“What I would like to do is suggest that we appoint three members from this legislative body to meet with the three members of the legislative body, the fiscal court, and let’s work on the interlocal agreement,” he said.
Honeycutt said the city and county don’t have to choose their representatives on the IDEA Board the same way if they don’t want to.
“If we do decide to proceed with this tonight, we don’t have to do the same thing that the fiscal court does,” he said. “As long as we agree to what they do and they agree to what we do ... they could do three fiscal court court members, we could take the next three people that park illegally in front of Shogun (of Glasgow) if we want to.”
Bunnell filed a motion to direct himself and fellow council members Joe Trigg and Gary Norman to speak with Magistrates Trent Riddle, Carl Dickerson and Mark Bowman, who were chosen to represent the fiscal court on the IDEA Board in an attempt to craft a new interlocal agreement aimed at the county’s economic development.