$2.2M budget for EDA

Published 10:48 pm Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Suffolk Economic Development Authority saw a $2.2 million budget for the coming fiscal year during its meeting Wednesday.

The budget is an increase of about $92,000 from last year’s budget. Much of the increases are coming from hikes in utility costs and bond interest expenses.

Economic Development director Kevin Hughes said the authority still doesn’t know where fuel and other costs outside the city’s control will level out.

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“We just put in our best guess as to what we might see this year,” he said.

The authority gains income from leases at the Hilton Garden Inn, the conference center attached to the hotel and the Health and Human Services Building. It pays for expenses at the Health and Human Services Building through funds from the health and social services departments and also for its own administrative expenses, landscaping at several local industrial parks that it owns and more.

The budget for expenses at the Health and Human Services Building has gone up nearly $150,000 since last year. The expenses on the bond interest have risen more than $100,000. Lawn service and janitorial services, both currently out for bid, are projected to rise. The electric bill will go up if Dominion Virginia Power gets a rate increase approved. The water and sewer rates are going up, which means the authority must pay more, too.

To make up for the increases, the authority reduced its budgets for professional fees, property maintenance, travel and training, office supplies and more.

Authority members said they wanted to have a month to look at the budget. It will be voted on at the authority’s next meeting on June 8.