HARTSELLE, ALA. (WHNT) – Some Hartselle city employees may soon be out of a job. Hartselle Mayor Don Hall says a budget deficit may leave them no choice but to eliminate a number of jobs.
Mayor Hall says Hartselle’s budget problems are the direct result of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s declining electricity sales. The TVA has seen a steady reduction in the demand for electricity for several years. As a result, their in-lieu-of-tax payments to local governments has also been on the decline. Hartselle alone has seen a decline of almost $300,000 in the last two years.
“We asked our department heads to look at their departments and to at least cut their operating budget by 10%,” Hall told WHNT News 19.
But that wasn’t enough. Mayor Hall says in order to end the year in the black, they’ll have to eliminate three full-time positions, one part-time job and cancel several current job openings.
“We’ve got it to where we’re at $21,500 in the black,” Hall explained, worried that it’s such a slim margin saying any unexpected expense could put the budget in the red.
The police department, fire department and parks and rec will each give up one full-time position. Hall says it’s the first time he knows of the city has had to lay off personnel, and he says its through no fault of their own. Sales tax and other revenues are up but not enough to offset the reduction in TVA funding. And he says he fully expects another reduction in that funding next year.
“Things are well within the city but this other pool or stream of funds has dried up on us,” Hall said.
Mayor Hall gave the city council his proposed budget during a work session Monday night. The council is expected to look over the proposal and then take a vote next month.