Kingwood Council OKs 2019-’20 budget; state must also approve

KINGWOOD — Kingwood Council gave tentative approval to is 2019-2020 budget this week.

Final approval can’t be given until the state approves the budget.

The estimated budget follows the items agreed upon at earlier budget sessions.

It includes three percent raises for city workers and money to purchase a new Kenworth truck to pull trailers laden with garbage to the Tucker County Landfill, and to start paying members of the Planning Commission and Zoning Board a stipend per meeting.

Board members aren’t paid anything now, but council is hopeful paying will attract people to serve on the board. Councilman Joe Seese said at a prior budget session it would at least allow someone to pay a sitter while they attend the meetings.

The truck will be bought on payments, estimated at $1,500 monthly and about $125,000 total. Mayor Jean Guillot asked at Monday’s budget session if it would be cheaper to lease a truck? Others said no, because repairs would still be the town’s.

Total revenues are projected at $2,621,044. That does not include any revenue from the new one cent per $1 municipal sales tax that does into effect July 1.

Councilwoman Michelle Whetsell, who spearheaded the effort to pass the tax, said it’s hard to predict how much will be collected the first year. Payments should start coming in October from the tax, she said.

“As that money comes in, it’s going to go to our general fund, so we’ll have to make some revisions,” Whetsell said. “And then next year, once we have those figures, we’re going to be looking at a totally different budget.”

The current fiscal year budget is $2,738,945.

The vote to approve the budget was unanimous with Councilman Mike Lipscomb absent.

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