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Midway Council working on budget
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Midway officials are working on a preliminary budget for 2011, which, they say, aims to reduce the $859,163 in city expenditures from 2010. A work session is set for Nov. 22 to complete the budget.
Mayor Dr. Clemontine Washington said the council and officials will go over a draft preliminary budget at the session.
“On Nov. 22, we will really get into the details. We will all be studying the figures between now and then,” she said.
Midway Police Chief Kelli Morningstar met with city officials Monday to elaborate on her request for more police officers next year. She proposes adding a detective and increasing the number of patrol officers. Morningstar told the city council that adding just one officer would drastically reduce overtime pay.
The chief and Midway CFO Gwen Lowe also discussed revenue, which they say could be captured if the city hired its own probation officer. Probation sentences handed down by Midway’s city court are currently handled through a contract with a private company, Misdemeanor Probation.
The company is paid through deductions from the money collected from people on probation. Morningstar said the company takes more than $40 off the top of each payment as its fee.
“We are losing money by using Misdemeanor Probation,” she said.
Lowe said the projected income from fines and forfeitures could be raised from $200,000 in 2010 to $250,000 in 2011.
The draft 2011 budget projects no increase in income from sales taxes, the hotel/motel tax and the alcoholic beverage tax.
Officials also are considering how much money will be required to maintain the aging buildings that house the police and fire departments.
“For now, I think we will have to just maintain as best we can,” Washington said.
Midway’s police department is in the former city hall building. City government operations are housed in the former Liberty Elementary School, which Liberty County now owns.
“We do want to move toward a single building for everything, but we still have to maintain certain workplace standards for now,” Councilman Terrence Doyle said.
Midway uses the calendar year, January through December, as its fiscal year.

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