Walhalla looks to balance new budget

Walhalla’s elected leaders have their eyes on potential new sources of revenue to balance their next budget and create new sources of funds to apply to their vision to make the city better. Mayor Danny Edwards and four city council members held a budget work session last night at City Hall. Tjay Bagwell, mayor pro-tem and chairman of the finance committee, has not given up on his idea to pass a four-mill tax increase though, at the least, some of his colleagues remain wary about that. At the start of the workshop, Bagwell touted proposals to raise both in-and-out-of-town garbage pickup charges and enact a parking fee at Stumphouse Tunnel and Issaqueena Falls. He and the other city leaders see new and higher fees as a way to help meet increased budget requests from the city’s four major departments. According to Bagwell, Walhalla annually spends about one-third of its budget on its police department. But Chief Ronald Wilbanks is pursuing an outside grant which, if approved, would reduce his request for 2013-14. At this point, Walhalla is looking at its first budget exceeding the $3 million figure.