The City Council has unanimously approved a budget for the new fiscal year that preserves police, fire and maintenance services at their current levels. The budget was balanced by cutting $2 million through a series of restructuring moves at City Hall.
Mayor Glenn G. Parker said the process of drafting the $27.2-million budget was "a long one and a difficult one."
"We started several months ago working with staff to evaluate the entire budget, top to bottom," Parker said. "One of the things we did was a tremendous amount of community outreach to determine our priorities."
The top concern that emerged from a community values survey and other sources of feedback from residents was that the city should maintain its commitment to public safety, Parker said. The second-highest priority was "keeping the city clean and looking good," the mayor said.
The city has been faced with "a severe budget challenge" over the past three years, according to City Manager Frank Benest. Inflation has led to higher costs for employee salaries, materials and equipment, while the recession has cut into tax revenues.