Mayor discusses budget proposal

Mayor Gabriel J. Campana gave an overview to City Council Thursday of a $21.8 million 2014 budget proposal that would hold the line on a real estate tax increase.

It would set the tax millage at 11.58 mills with 1 mill of tax generating about $880,000, Campana said.

The spending plan as proposed would add two police officers to the department using a $419,000 U.S. Department of Justice grant for that purpose. The two officers’ salaries and benefits would be paid for three years, with the city picking up the final year of the grant, which could range from $160,000 to $200,000, according to city Police Chief Gregory A. Foresman.

As proposed, the budget sets aside $269,000 for debt service and further grant funding requirements, according to Campana.

As for the city fire department, a facility account would be created to provide for maintenance and upkeep.

Under road resurfacing, the proposed spending plan would use $946,000 for repairing and street reconstruction and paving with separate funding is available to pay for a traffic study and a look at land use east of Market Street within the Central Business District, Campana said.

“My proposed budget fills a vacancy in the Streets and Parks Department and permits the department to replace a 1990 dump truck,” he said.

It provides funding for the completion of the flood levee certification and technology upgrades at City Hall, he said.

A captial projects budget furthers development of Destination 2014, a project to create taxable properties on the YMCA grounds and the lots bordered by West Third, Hepburn, West Fourth and Elmira streets.

Budget work sessions begin at 7 p.m. Dec. 2 and Dec. 4.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting is 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12.