City of BG to end year with budget surplus

By Justin Michaels - bio | email

Posted by Lisa Strawbridge - email

BOWLING GREEN (WTOL) - This ailing economy has taken its toll on many area cities, but there are some communities making it through the storm. One is Bowling Green.

"In Bowling Green, as in a lot of places, we saw at the end of 2008 that there were some tough times coming," said BG Mayor John Quinn. He says those tough times are being felt for sure, but the planning his city did is paying off by saving jobs and benefits. "We took a pretty strong knife to the budget and tried to get a pretty good start to 2009."

Cutting things like $67,000 for part-time and seasonal positions and $425,000 for capital projects. Those along with other budget items have been reallocated to keep the city moving.

In addition to those reallocations, BG has also reworked how they provide services. "We recently made a change in our trash collection in which we changed from a five-day pickup to a four-day pickup." This freed up employees to do other duties on that fifth day.

More good news is the city is slated to end 2009 with more than $625,000 in the bank. But compared to a year ago, that's less than half. "It still comes back to the fact of, 'Where's the money?' At this point, we've been fortunate enough that the reduction of the money has not been as severe as some of those other places," said Quinn.

So BG is still a city of good news and jobs saved for now. "We think cities exist to provide services, and we're able to do that. It's getting tougher everyday to do that, but we're able to do it and we're able to keep the jobs of the people who are providing those services."