The Greensboro City Council is scheduled to pass the 2021-2022 fiscal year budget at the Tuesday, June 15 meeting.
That meeting is also the last scheduled meeting of the fiscal year that ends June 30 and the last scheduled meeting with David Parrish as city manager.
Parrish has resigned effective June 30. Assistant City Manager Chris Wilson has been named interim city manager effective June 15. So for two weeks Greensboro will technically have a city manager and an interim city manager.
The City Council held its final budget work session on Tuesday, June 7 and worked out most, but not all, of the issues with the budget. The main focus of that meeting was how to adjust revenue to cover the estimated $1.5 million in spending that the City Council had added to the $617 million budget recommended by Parrish.
It was revealed at that meeting that the city currently has a lot of money and the City Council only had to decide which pot of money they wanted to use to cover the additional expenses. Assistant City Manager Larry Davis also presented several items city staff had formulated to reduce spending.
The budget had included $250,000 for additional mental health counseling for police, fire and Guilford Metro 911 employees. Davis explained that this service could be covered by a restructured employee assistance program.
The hiring of three additional parks and recreation and three additional fire safety shift officers were also delayed for a savings of about $130,000. In answers to questions, it was revealed that neither department was prepared to fill these positions on July 1, so delaying the hiring date was more a recognition of the current situation than reducing service.
Davis also recommended increasing projected revenue from inspections by $50,000 and from ABC sales by $200,000.
Councilmember Justin Outling questioned both of these projected increases in revenue. Outling said, “Why was this not the estimate the first time around?”
Davis said the revised estimate was the result of looking at the revenue that had come in during the spring, since the revenue estimates were first considered in March.
He said, “I would not have bothered with it if I had not had to find $1.5 million.”
Other adjustments made included adding $35,000 for the Piedmont Triad Film Commission, removing $100,000 from the Field Operations budget for cameras to decrease illegal dumping that cost is to be absorbed by the department, funding Crime Stoppers with $75,000 per year for two years instead of $150,000 this year, and funding the additional $200,000 for Piedmont Business Capital and $250,000 for the International Civil Rights Center and Museum with American Rescue Plan funds.
The City Council discussed whether to use money from the fund balance or from American Rescue Plan to help balance the budget. Since the city has over $29 million in American Rescue Plan money in hand and sufficient money in the fund balance to cover all the expenses, it was merely a question of which pot to use for the expenses.