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City council votes on more budget cuts for Wilmington

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More budget cuts are in the city of Wilmington's future. City council will vote Tuesday night on whether to transfer about $4 million from construction projects into the city's general funds. Transferring the money will delay some projects, but it will also help balance the budget and avoid having to raise property taxes. The projects will not be completely taken off the table, just pushed back to future fiscal years. They include work on Dawson and Wooster streets, street paving and sidewalk improvements, constructing some right turn lanes and other work. This will save about $4 million of the city's $8 million shortfall; another $4 million was saved by making cuts in several city departments. Mayor Bill Saffo said to get back on track, it's necessary to make some tough decisions. "Just like families around the region - around the area are having to do, we're having to prioritize what is very important to us and what is not as important to us and that is something that we can defer to in future years." Other projects that will have some of their funding taken away this year include work on the Taylor Homes Development on Taylor Street in downtown Wilmington, as well as improvements on City Hall. Tuesday night's council meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. WWAY will have a full wrap-up tonight at eleven.

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"convention crisis"

When the convention center is finally finished and our visitors and community leave or try to leave on congested, potholed, streets tied up for hours,looking at the view on Wooster, Castle and Dawson street, not to mention the grand thorofare of Market street, then they may take some of the convention center money and fix our public streets. Maybe.

Mrs Phyllis

Unfortunately your plan won't work. The convention center is being built ONLY by money from the room occupancy tax (the "tourist tax") and not by local taxpayer dollars. And the state has determined that this money can ONLY be used to build the convention center. It is the largest construction project in our entire region, though, and is putting hundreds of people to work. And although there are some of those workers who don't live in Wilmington, they are eating and spending money here while they are working on the convention center which also helps.

I wonder why the city hasn't

I wonder why the city hasn't offered early retirement to its employees to shred some of the top heavy employees like the county did?

No early retirements

I think the main reason is that the city was much better prepared for the current economic situation, or at least it seems that way. I remember reading about cuts that the city was making which started after the county messed up the whole property tax revaluation. As I recall, those cuts carried into their next fiscal year. So although we are all hurting, it does appear that the city was better prepared for this than the county.

More Cuts

Why doesn't the city layoff some of the development staff? The planners the city has hired have created a bad name for doing business. If you talk to a developer or contractor they cringe every time they here of a project within city limits and try to persuade the client to move outside city limits. I have been on both ends of the stick as a developer and contractor. I will try my hardest to never to business with the city again until they start making changes. Jim Diepenbrock is one of the main problems. If I ever saw one person make up new rules and laws and delay projects because decisions can't be made (other than David Heath with NHCFD), Jim has to be on the top of the list. Then you have people like Angela Faison who doesn't understand how to read ordinances. The city needs better people like Jeff Walton, who is a clear thinker, makes quick decisions and gets a job done! Why are we still paying the others! If the city wants to start making cuts let the people have a say. The goofballs that are representing the city are not doing a good job. Things to to CHANGE!!

Way to go calling out people

Way to go calling out people by name. How 'bout printing YOUR NAME if you are going to call out specific people. Gutless.

cuts

how about cut the worthless money pit convention center? how about consolidate city and county services?

As far as consolidating city

As far as consolidating city & county services, lets not even go there. We all see what great a job they did with the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, lets not try that again.

Lord

You people are so stupid...the convention center is not only creating jobs now in construction but will bring money and customers to Wilmington. What more do you want!

what I want

I would like the city to get out of the convention center business and let a private company build and run one (same jobs, same influx of tourists, same loss of profit - just not on the public's dime). I would like the city to focus on providing ONLY code enforcement, parks and recreation, police and fire coverage (hmmm, doesn't the county already have those services???). Everything else should be run by private companies (same jobs, just not millions of $$$ in benefits for employees on the public's dime). If consolidation just never goes through, I suggest the city make a deal with the county to have them alotted a budget based on geographical sales and use tax. Get out of the property tax, annexation, and socialism business.

Convention Center

This could be a great opportunity for our area. And as I've said before, unless you live in a hotel, your tax dollars are NOT paying for it. And by the way, I don't think the county has any code enforcement looking at some of the houses outside the city limits. Also, what do you mean by the city being in the property tax business? I get my bill from New Hanover County. And they are the ones who re-assessed my house last time, then screwed everything up. If you are talking about city taxes, where else do you expect them to get the money to do anything for our city? Wilmington's tax rate is by far the lowest of all the top 10 cities in the state. Hey, maybe the city SHOULD get in the property tax business. They might do a better job... Yup, the county has done a real bang up job of everything. In my opinion, as a city resident, I think I should pay less county taxes.

Keep in mind this city has

Keep in mind this city has the lowest paid people for the same jobs as other cities, so it should have a lower tax rate.

I agree that the employees

I agree that the employees are the lowest paid. Very sad, when Wilmington is the 8th or 9th largest city in the state. If the sales taxes were more equitably distributed between the city & the county, perhaps that could change? (OK, probably not...)