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* Hampton City News

Posted on: March 2, 2020

What are YOUR priorities in the city budget? There may be room to add to services

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March 2, 2020 - After several years of tight budgets, city revenues for next year could allow room for some new spending. City Manager Mary Bunting wants to know citizens’ top priorities. 

She plans a range of gatherings to hear citizens’ ideas and priorities between March 10 and 19. One will be a traditional large group meeting, two will be on Facebook Live, and two will be more informal chats over coffee or a brew.

Karl Daughtrey, finance director, projected that revenue for next year would increase by $11.2 million, or 3.2 percent. The full amount won’t be available for discretionary spending. About $2.4 million is already allocated, including an additional $1.3 million for schools. The General Assembly is considering several mandates that would pass costs to localities.

Still, there may be some room to add to the capital and/or operating budget. Among the items being considered: competitive compensation and raises to retain and attract talented staff, putting artificial turf at Darling Stadium, staffing and operating costs for neighborhood centers in Fox Hill and Olde Hampton when they open, expanding the summer youth employment program and the workforce initiative, increased police staffing and equipment, relocating the police firing range, infrastructure improvements, housing investments, Resilient Hampton projects, bus stop improvements, blight abatement funds and increased staffing for codes enforcement.

Here is the meeting schedule:

  • March 12, 6:30 – 8 p.m. will be an online opportunity to ask questions via Facebook Live online
  • March 14, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. will be an in-person meeting at Sandy Bottom Nature Park meeting room
  • March 17, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Facebook Live online

Two smaller and more informal chats give residents the opportunity to sit down with the city manager in more casual settings. Residents are invited to purchase a beverage and join her:

  • March 10, 8:30 – 10 a.m., over coffee at the Willow Oaks McDonald’s
  • March 19, 5:30 – 7 p.m., at Oozlefinch brewery on Fort Monroe

Bunting said that, as staff develops recommended budgets for capital and operating expenses, they will try to meet as many of the priorities as is financially possible.

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