Vienna City Council continues budget efforts

VIENNA — Vienna officials reached an agreement on the most-debated portion of the upcoming city budget and will meet in special session Tuesday to finalize the $9 million spending plan.

The final, balanced version of the budget must be submitted to the state before March 28.

Although there are still debates over aspects of the city’s insurance, six of Vienna City Council’s seven members voted to accept Highmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s renewal proposal. Councilman Mike Elam recused himself from the vote due to being employed by Highmark.

“I am glad that we have spent so much time focusing on discussing our budget more thoroughly and transparently this year,” Elam said.

Council also discussed the possibility of keeping certain budget items that were cut during revisions, including $3,500-a-year pay raises for Human Resources department head Stephanie Broffman, city event planner Linda Kern and IT Director Adam Clegg. That would raise their hourly rates by $1.69.

Several council members spoke in favor of this, saying each do a lot of work to keep the city running smooth and offering fun events to attend.

“We need to think about the employees and what is best for them,” Councilman Roger Conley said. “We could have extra money if we didn’t spend it all because we have it.”

Conley said that instead of focusing on new items the city should refurbish them first and save money for fixing the roads, keeping pipes up to date and saving to fix any bridges that need work.

“We need functioning, not pretty and new,” he said.

The special meeting to finalize the budget is slated for 7 p.m. Tuesday.

In other business, council unanimously agreed to accept the following bid approvals:

* $125 per cubic yard for city concrete to be contracted out to Cardinal Concrete.

* $19,537 to Riley Outdoors for nine Christmas light displays. The money for these comes out of the city’s general fund.

* $14,642.71 to Varsity Scoreboards for three new score boards and their equipment. The funding for this will come out of the general fund as well.

City officials also announced Thursday that Public Works employees will be performing sewer repairs on Woodland Drive on Monday. The street will be closed from Valley View Drive through Ashland Drive and motorists are asked to find alternate routes. The closure will start at 7 a.m. and last until repairs are completed.