On a seven to two vote, the city council approved the nearly $228 million budget. "It's a sound budget," said Mayor Bobby Bright.
Council members Glen Pruitt and Martha Roby voted against the budget which will take $15 million out of the city's $50 million reserve account. Roby said, "I just don't think it's fiscally responsible."
The budget includes pay raises for all city employees. It give public safety a 5% raise and all other city workers a 3% raise. "I wish we could give 5% across the board," said Mayor Bright.
Bright says he's pleased with the budget. The council and the mayor debated for four months last year before approving one. This time council members only made three minor adjustments before accepting the spending plan.
On top of the pay raise, city employees usually get a merit raise around 3%. City Finance Director Lloyd Faulkner predicts revenues will replenish all but a million of the $15 million taken from the reserve account.