Phenix City budget set

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email | Twitter

PHENIX CITY, AL (WXTX) -  The economy is forcing a lot of budgets to be cut all over the nation, and Phenix City, Alabama is no exception.

Not only have Phenix City Council members been crunching numbers for the past few months, but they've been tightening their belts as well.

Phenix City Mayor Sonny Coulter told News Leader Nine, "City council, administration in the city realized early on that were wasn't any money to burn."

When there's no money to burn, you have to find a way to make it with what you do have. Phenix City operated on $5.7 million last fiscal year. This year's budget is set at $2.7 million.

Coulter explained, "We took last year's budget, included level funding all the way across the board, but at the same time we cut out hiring new employees."

Mayor Coulter says "no new employees" does not mean any lay-offs. But he understands money may have to be spent if an emergency arises, "If we see where not having an employee that we had before is creating a problem for us, then we will fill that position."

The city will also have to do without new equipment.

"We are going to tighten our belts. We're going to ask department heads to continue to do what they're doing, or more, with what they have now," added Mayor Coulter.

Phenix City Council members explained that the term "level funding" may scare some, but it's a practice they did last year as well.

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