Paintsville officials facing budget deficit

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

Make cuts or increase revenue, that's the decision facing Paintsville City Council members.

The city of Paintsville has a $154,000 budget deficit. With the new pharmacy school coming in, city council members want to find a way to balance the budget without hurting the growing population.

Paintsville city officials say in the last four years, costs have skyrocketed while revenue has not. That has resulted in a $154,000 dollar deficit.

"We've come to the realization we're going to have to make changes," said Mayor Bob Porter.

Options on the table include cutting trash services and recreational services and laying off a few employees or increasing the city's occupational tax.

"I think our citizens, our long time residents as well as new residences expect services. The good thing about an occupational tax, it doesn't affect fixed income people. The bad thing is affects everyone else and no one wants to pay taxes," Porter said.

Business owners at Something Old, Something New say any new taxes would hurt.

"It's going to go back to the consumer or the purchaser," said Alan Sublett.

Another option is selling the city's ambulance service.

"I think if the ambulance service was done away with, if that would solve the problems, then maybe we should take a look at it," Sublett said.

No one at the ambulance service was available to speak on camera.

City council members we were able to reach say they have not made any decisions yet and will examine all the options.

"None of the options are what we would choose from if we had the choice, but we don't have the choice," Porter said.

They must have the budget in place by July 1st.

The next city council meeting is June 14th at seven o'clock.

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