Walhalla Budget Passes First Reading

Walhalla City Council granted initial approval on Tuesday for the proposed $17 million budget for the fiscal year 2024-25, set to commence on July 1. City administrator Celia Myers presented a detailed breakdown of the budget, which allocates $5,795,900 for the general fund, $5,576,450 for the enterprise fund, and $5,710,000 for the special revenue fund, including significant sums earmarked for the new community center and other key initiatives. The budget incorporates a 3 percent pay raise for city employees, a 5 percent longevity program, and adjustments to align salaries with state averages. Notably, discussions included potential changes to accommodate additional employee benefits and strategic investments in areas like fleet management and staffing expansions in water services and parks, recreation, and tourism. Myers also proposed revenue enhancements such as a millage increase, updated tap fees, and expectations for increased revenue from business licenses, hospitality taxes, and tourism expansion. Mayor Tim Hall emphasized the importance of a realistic budget that addresses revenue challenges and sustainable fiscal planning, highlighting efforts to ensure the city’s financial health for the upcoming fiscal year and beyond.