Mayor Williams and City Council Reach Budget Compromise Council Passes Proposed Fiscal Year 2015 Budget
Posted on 05/22/2014 8:25 pm
Mayor Dennis P. Williams and Wilmington City Council reach compromise as Council passes proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Operating Budget with a vote of 8 to 5.
"This compromise represents the strong efforts by my Administration and City Council to put forth a budget that is fiscally responsible, avoids layoffs and allows the City to provide key services to our citizens," said Mayor Williams. "Despite making significant cuts, this budget still allows us to work toward making our streets safer, our neighborhoods stronger and our children prepared for the future."
The highlights of the compromise for the FY 2015 Operating Budget include:
- A property tax increase to 5%
- A reduction of $794,000 in ongoing and yearly expenditures which includes the elimination of four vacant positions
- The addition of $353,000 to fund a new police academy to enable the Police Department to fill vacancies due to attrition which has depleted the 320 officer force to a total of 305 officers
- No reduction in City services over the FY 2014 levels
The highlights of the compromise for the FY 2015 Water and Sewer Fund budget include:
- A water/sewer rate increase to 5%
- A storm water rate increase to 5%
- A reduction of $400,000 in ongoing, yearly expenditures
- No reduction in water and sewer services over the FY 2014 levels
The compromise of the FY 2015 Budget still includes key public safety and youth development initiatives Mayor Williams highlighted during his State of the City address. The City will implement the Cure Violence program. This model takes a public health approach to violence prevention, and aims to reduce street violence by using outreach workers to interrupt potentially violent situations. The budget compromise includes the 'Summer in the Parks' programming, in addition to increasing the number of youths participating in the Parks and Recreation Youth Employment program by 56.3 percent.
"It was important to avoid cuts to public safety personnel at a time when the safety of our citizens is a top priority," said Mayor Williams. "We also cannot sacrifice the growth of our young people. For our children to effectively compete in today's global economy, we must nurture them academically, broaden their horizons, and ensure they are equipped for success."