Hoover looks at budget cuts, possible revenue options to address budget concerns
The decline in brick and mortar shopping in Hoover certainly is taking a toll on the city's bottom line.
“We’re spending more than we’re bringing in and that is a trend we cannot stay on,” said Hoover City Administrator Allan Rice. “It’s not an immediate crisis. We’re not broke, but we have to change the trend we’re on.”
Mayor Frank Brocato's office is ready to talk about necessary cuts being made. In Monday’s council meeting, Brocato outlined dozens of ways the city has worked to save money over the last 18 months. Cuts included the police department’s helicopter, the city’s 4th of July fireworks show and any non-mission critical travel costs.
“We’ve done a tremendous number of things including our fleet, including leaving a lot of positions open and unfilled, a lot of vacancies throughout the city,” Rice told ABC 33/40 earlier in the day. “We’ve worked on travel reductions. We’ve looked at the way we provide insurance coverage.”
"We're cutting costs at every opportunity but we cannot cut our way out of this without fundamentally changing the city we love, " Brocato told the council.
Then, Brocato asked Finance Committee Chairman, Councilman John Lyda, to call a committee meeting in the next two weeks to work on a solution. The goal is to have a solution ready for the June 4 council meeting.
Tax increases are a possibility.
“There are a lot of different revenue measures mentioned by members of the community, by city council members, so there’s a lot of conversations out there and what the mayor wants to do is make sure we have the right process for bringing all those together in one place so they can be looked at holistically and as the community we make the best decisions,” explained Rice.
Possible revenue options being discussed include a property tax increase, sales tax increase, a lodging tax increase, an occupational tax or maybe a garbage collection fee.
“The mayor has said repeatedly everything’s on the table,” said Rice. “We have to look at everything. We can’t isolate or rule out any one solution. There’s not been a specific proposal yet and we’re still in the process of putting that together.”
Council members thanked Brocato for his presentation and openness. They said they would work with him to find a financial solution.