The Harlan City Council approved a first reading for the budget for the upcoming fiscal year during a meeting on Monday.
Mayor Danny Howard asked City Treasurer Charles Guyn for his report, during which the budget was presented.
“No layoffs, however there are no raises,” Guyn told the council. “The mayor and I have talked, and due to the lack of funds overtime hours will be cut to a minimum.”
Guyn explained the city’s health insurance went up approximately 3 percent, and the city’s overall insurance package costs increased $836 for the year.
“I was really shocked by that,” Guyn said, explaining the increased cost was much less than expected.
Guyn then answered multiple questions concerning the budget from council members Annie Fox and Ann Hensley.
After a lengthy discussion, Howard mentioned some possible consequences of a tight budget.
“It’s left up to us to continue to tighten…to take care of our needs,” Howard said. “We might not be able to salt as much as we (have been), we might not be able to clear as quickly as we (have) cleared. We’re going to have to look at garbage pickups; we’re going to have to look at ways that we could possibly do those more efficiently. I’m confident in our department heads…they’re very tight with their money, and I’m confident they can tighten up even more.”
Following more discussion, the council approved a first reading of the budget.
“It’s tight, but it’s a budget we can live with,” Howard said.
In other council activity:
• Hensley suggested putting more garbage cans out during the next Poke Sallet Festival in order to help control the litter left on the streets after the event;
• The Harlan City Police Department received 2,450 calls, issued 43 citations, produced 15 accident reports, opened 12 cases and served 16 warrants;
• The Harlan City Fire Department performed nine commercial inspections, six single-family dwelling inspections, gave two public safety programs and completed 96 man hours of training and responded to eight calls.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-4132 or on Twitter @joe_hde