The Jefferson City Council began its budget work Monday, making no changes to projected revenues for 2014 and starting a discussion on the possible elimination of JCTV funding.
The council went through each aspect of the proposed revenue projections for the next fiscal year as presented in Mayor Eric Struemph's budget, making no changes and keeping the projected revenue at $28.8 million for 2014, a nearly $5 million drop from the current fiscal year.
But as was pointed out by interim Finance Director Bill Betts, some of that drop is attributed to the city's recent changes in grant procedures. The city no longer will budget grant revenue until it is received, resulting in a $1.4 million drop in intergovernmental revenues and another $500,000 drop in grants received by the Police Department.
"That is one of the major changes as to why our projections for (fiscal year 2014) are a bit lower," Betts said. "As funds come in, money will be added."
After discussing all aspects of the city's revenue, the council began discussing some of the changes in the mayor's proposed budget. Struemph has proposed eliminating funding for JCTV, which received $110,000 this fiscal year, saying it's not an essential service for the city to provide at this time.
"This has been something that I've struggled with," Struemph said.
No council member made any motion to change that proposal Monday, but they are expected to come back to the issue as work on the budget continues.
"I'm sure we'll discuss this further," said 5th Ward Councilman Larry Henry.
"If this gets cut, we need to figure out what else we can do to support Lincoln (University)."
Henry said though he understands the rationale behind eliminating the station's funding in a tight fiscal year, the city has an obligation to support the local university and wants to make sure some type of partnership continues.
One issue with eliminating JCTV's funding is the notice required to the station and to Lincoln University before the contract can be terminated.
City Attorney Drew Hilpert said the contract requires a 90-day notice, meaning the council would need to set the budget and pass a resolution authorizing the termination within the next month to avoid any costs in the 2014 budget.
The council will continue budget discussions at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 8.