Residents, city council members not concerned about 2012 budget

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - When it comes to the City of Montgomery's finances, Mayor Todd Strange's 2012 fiscal year budget is up $3-million dollars over last year.

Local residents and city council members got the chance to ask questions about his spending plan, but no one really raised any concerns.

The budget is not much different from the last couple years. Three years ago, Mayor Strange re-built the budget from the ground up--trying to cut out the fat.

Consider 2012 an extension of that practice--just with a $3-million dollar increase. Instead of $218 million, it's $221 million.

Mayor Strange says he had to account for rising healthcare and retirement costs as well as pay raises.

Some city council members believe the budget is smart and tight. But there are a few folks who questioned the extra $3-million dollars.

"I thought some of the increases were probably going to go toward development to try and make, ya know bring the city to be a bigger and larger place to live. I wasn't shocked that the increase was in those areas, but I'm quite sure the cost of living drove those numbers up so I'm guessing the number was justifiable," says Montgomery resident, William Boyd.

"All in all, it's a pretty tight budget, it's one that does include merit increases for those deserving employees but at the same time it recognizes that we are not out of the woods yet and we want to be very conservative and very frugal," says Mayor Strange.

The city council meets again Monday, September 12th to discuss the budget before they vote. They're expected to vote on it at the next meeting--September 20th.

There are no more public hearings on the budget scheduled at this time.

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