With Projected Deficit, Charleston Looks Forward

July 30, 2010

Investigative Reports

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The NerveA budget session was held before a meeting of the Charleston City Council’s Committee on Ways and Means June 20.

Chief Financial Officer Stephen Bedard indicated that things were still tough and that the city was looking at a potential $2 million deficit in fiscal 2011, based on projected revenue for the year.

Bedard indicated that no tax increase was contemplated and that Charleston would look to further cuts to balance the budget. Cuts already have been made, and the city is experiencing a “rolling hiring freeze.”

Bedard expressed hope that there would be some improvement in 2012, but he noted that city is obliged to maintain certain hiring levels as a condition of accepting grants in years prior to 2012.

While there is hope for some economic recovery by 2012, it was noted during the citizens participation aspect of the meeting that the only construction plans out for bid at the Association of General Contractors Plan Room are those of government projects.

There are few if any private sector projects.

However, the projected deficit of $2 million for 2011 is between 1-2 percent the city’s projected revenue. Many states and cities do not have potential deficits that are so small.