Budget held off until November

Published 3:28 pm Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Westover town council will not pass a budget until at least mid-November, said Mayor Mark McLaughlin.

However, McLaughlin said it is normal procedure for Westover because of the town’s youth. Westover was incorporated in 2001, and the town had no revenue during that fiscal year.

In 2005, the town began to charge sales tax. Since then, Westover has grown rapidly with the addition of new homes. That growth makes it hard to project revenue for a budget, McLaughlin said.

“Long story short, because of the ever-changing revenue in the city, it’s harder for us to project and do the forecasting you would be able to do in a more stable community,” he said.

McLaughlin said as Westover adjusts to the growth and revenue intake becomes steady, it will be easier for the council to project an accurate budget. An independent company audits Westover’s finances yearly to ensure the town stays in good shape.

Last year, Westover’s budget was at $400,000. McLaughlin said he expects this year’s budget to be about the same amount. Much of the budget will go towards expenses of the Westover Fire Department.

He also said he thinks it will be advantageous for the new council, which will take over Nov. 3, to be able to see the budget before it is passed.

While McLaughlin thinks revenue will increase in the coming year, he said the council will be conservative when making up a budget.

“We just want to be as conservative as we can be and try to keep the lights on, keep the projects going that we’ve taken on,” he said. “We feel like we’re in a good position.”