Proposal adds 2 percent to Jacksonville budget

JACKSONVILLE — A 2 percent increase is proposed in what the mayor characterizes as a conservative city budget designed to maintain current services for the next fiscal year.

A combination of funds would increase the budget from $5.64 million this year to $5.75 million in fiscal 2009-10 in the proposal, under review by the budget committee.

The budget proposes eliminating a half-time position in the fire department and freezing staff salaries and medical allowances, the latter depending on union negotiations now under way.

"It's a pretty conservative budget. We just haven't had a lot of change," said Mayor Bruce Garrett. "Our budget was pretty fundamental to begin with. Our tax base hasn't changed dramatically."

Much of the increase can be attributed to an Urban Renewal Agency fund that would rise to $291,300 from $203,321 to allow for purchase of land to add to the city's cemetery. Negotiations are under way with Chris Galpin to obtain property immediately north of the cemetery.

Property owners would again be assessed at the rate of $1.84 per $1,000 of assessed value, the maximum the city can levy.

— Tony Boom, for the Mail Tribune

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