Columbiana sales tax revenue down 16 percent

Columbiana leaders amended the city’s budget Tuesday to combat declining revenue and the sluggish economy.

The city council made cuts in almost every department but didn’t layoff any workers, said Mayor Allan Lowe.

“We cut our budgeted expenses across the board, but we did not nor do we expect to cut any positions or layoff any employees,” said Lowe. “It just wouldn’t be right, and we don’t have to do that.”

Lowe said several capital projects would have to wait, including street paving, improvements to sidewalks and sewer system expansion.

“Much of that will just have to wait,” Lowe said. “This budget … it’s very fiscally conservative. We are in good shape financially, and this budget should keep us that way.”

Columbiana sales taxes are down 16 percent compared to the same period last year.

“We’re just trying to pay the bills as they come in and not doing anything extra-ordinary,” said Councilman Tom Seale.

Mayor Lowe and the council will evaluate the budget every month and make any needed changes, Seale said.

Seale projects the city will take in $4.1 million dollars this year, almost $582,000 more than last year. Almost all that difference is from a $500,000 state grant for sewer projects, however.