Montgomery city council passes FY 2013 budget - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Montgomery city council passes FY 2013 budget

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

The Montgomery city council agreed on a $26,481,268 budget for fiscal year 2013, slashing roughly $10 million dollars since May when city departments first submitted their budgets.

"There were some concerns, you know it's a very tight budget," Montgomery mayor Todd Strange said.

He says the hold up was waiting for everyone to get an understanding of the budget.

"It is about personnel. It is about salary increases for those who qualify. It's about funding essential services," Strange said.

Three council members expressed concern over not having enough money in reserves and for road paving.

Councilman Arch Lee were among those who opposed the 2.5 to 3% merit increase and wanted to take it out of the budget, but the merit increase for city employees is in the 2013 budget. Lee was the only councilman who didn't vote for the budget.

"It wasn't only the merit raises, it was the travel. It was the budget all the way across that we need to be a little bit tighter on our money right now. It should go into savings or certainly, reallocate some of the money," Lee said.

The mayor has pledged to find a way to put money in the reserves. He says if the city gets in a crunch, there are contingent plans to help manage the budget throughout the year.

"We can freeze hiring, slow down hiring or higher people that are funded," Strange said.

The only amendment to the budget was the council reallocating $6,600 of their own travel money to fund the council's internship program. The program is under Alabama State's University Center for Leadership and Public Policy department and it will now be moved to City Hall. Interns will utilize the new and unoccupied council members office space.

The council moved to reconsider the name changing of West Jeff Davis Avenue.

You may remember our story on the opposition and financial concerns when it passed.

Mayor Strange has imposed a moratorium on street changes until procedures are in place. He says it could take 30 to 60 days to draft those procedures.

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