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Common Council makes few changes before adopting budget

Mayor Byron W. Brown’s 2017-2018 budget plan was unanimously approved Tuesday by the Common Council, which made only minor changes to the $499 million document.

The Council did, however, agree to change its budget hearing schedule for future years so that residents can comment in January on what they’d like to see in the upcoming city budget – and not just during hearings in May after the budget is submitted by the mayor to the Council.

The city’s 2017-2018 budget increases spending over the current fiscal year by $6 million, but holds the line on taxes. The budget relies on $11 million to $12 million from the city’s reserve fund to balance the budget.

The Council shifted funds in the budget to finance a $60,000 public mural project, and upgraded a position in the city clerk’s office, where one of the employees will become an interpreter for the Council. The woman speaks four languages. Money for the Council additions came from vacant, but funded positions in the budget.

Otherwise, little was changed from the budget Brown asked the Council to approve.

“I appreciate that each of the members shares my priorities,” Brown said in a statement after the budget was adopted.

The 2017-2018 budget goes into effect July 1.




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