Economic funding won’t set Sebastian manager’s hair ‘on fire’

SEBASTIAN – The prospect of carving out between $10,000 and $15,000 in the Sebastian city budget won’t cause City Manager Al Minner’s hair to go on fire.

Minner told the council last week that so long as they didn’t try to allocate more than $15,000, he could accommodate the request from the city’s general fund reserves. Mayor Richard Gillmor had asked Minner to determine if there were any funds left available to be used on economic development.

“It’s pointless to talk about economic development,” Mayor Gillmor said, “without having any skin in the game.”

City Councilman Eugene Wolff told the council and Minner that it “borders on ludicrous” to pull funds when the budget is already tight.

Minner said that he would agree with Wolff if the council were to try to increase that amount.

By potentially dipping into reserves by $10,000 to $15,000, Minner said, “I’m not going to flinch at that.”

The Sebastian City Council is expected to have a presentation from the Sebastian River Area Chamber of Commerce to discuss ways the city can spark economic and job growth.

Council members Don Wright and Andrea Coy said they support earmarking funds for economic growth endeavors but don’t want to spend anything until the city has a plan and the council knows what the money would go toward.

Wright said that when times get tough, businesses – and by extension, the city – should not cut advertising.

“Economic development is mostly advertising for the city,” he said.

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