Lower gas price aids M’boro budget

Published 11:23 am Friday, February 13, 2009

MURFREESBORO — Department officials here have been successful in cutting back on expenditures.

At Tuesday’s Murfreesboro Town Council meeting, Town Administrator Cathy Davison informed council members how department heads have worked to reduce the budget by four percent to help combat slow revenue due to the national economic crisis.

Last month, council members gave consensus to direct the departments to prepare at a minimum a three percent cut in their budgets and place a freeze on all expenditures, with the exception of necessary operational expenses.

The source for the reduction was found in the departments’ gas and oil line item.

Davison along with Public Works Director Gene Byrd and Public Safety Director Darrell Rowe were able to cut the gas and oil line item by 20 percent, which roughly equals $37,000.

“When the budget was adopted last year, as you recall, fuel prices were close to $4 a gallon and were expected to continue to rise,” said Davison. “Thankfully, no one could have guessed that the prices would decrease.”

Davison explained that when the budget was adopted, there was a 66 percent increase in the departments’ gas and oil line item.

Despite efforts put forth in the town’s current year budget, which had an 18 percent decrease from last year, the town (as are all municipalities) is feeling the effects of the national recession.

Last month, Davison reported to date the town received $841,604 in revenue for the general fund, just 44 percent of the budgeted amounts that were based on conservative projections at an eight percent decrease from previous years.

Davison commended the departments and told council members that they would continue to work to find additional creative reductions.