In what will be good news to thousands of municipal utility customers, Winder’s preliminary budget for fiscal year 2012 does not include rate hikes for water, sewer or gas services.
Also missing is a new storm water fee that only months ago appeared a near certainty for the fiscal year that starts July 1.
City administrator Don Toms said the only fee increase at this point might be for garbage service due to the rising cost of fuel, but that contract is not due for renegotiation until this fall.
“There are no big changes, no rate increases,” he said. “The city’s finances have stabilized.”
He said the administration in previous budget cycles did a good job with revenue projections and keeping spending in check.
He and finance director Leslie Henderson, along with Mayor Chip Thompson and councilmen Sonny Morris, Ridley Parrish and Bob Dixon, met Tuesday at the Winder Cultural Arts Center with the first two of 15 department heads scheduled for budget meetings by the end of the day Friday.
Though no draft documents were made available to the newspaper Tuesday, it quickly became clear that the new budget, for the fourth year in a row, includes no across-the-board raises for city employees.
For the full story, see the May 4 issue of the Barrow Journal.