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Council to approve $5.1 million city budget tonight

| Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, 9:23 p.m.

City Council is set approve its 2013 budget during a 6 p.m. meeting today.

The draft budget, approved in November, included no layoffs, no tax increase and no cuts to services.

The $5,157,950 draft budget keeps the tax rate set at 32.62 mills. Each mill generates $64,971 for the city.

Council finance chair Bill Bedont said earlier this month that the city will bring in $100,000 more in revenues than expected this year. He also said the city has spent $200,000 more than expected. Bedont said the city will be able to continue paying all of its bills through the end of the year, continue to make payroll and will be able to repay the tax anticipation loan taken out early this year.

The police pension installment, which is $414,000 this year, could be the payment that hurts the city's ability to end the year ‘even.' Bedont said the city will pay as much of that installment as possible. Any amount that isn't paid by the end of this month will begin to accrue interest each month until it is paid off. If the pension installment isn't paid in full this month, it could affect the 2013 budget.

Any changes that would need to be made to the spending plan would likely take place next month, once the exact figures for the end of 2012 are known.

During this month's council meeting, Mayor Robert Carter said the city is still working toward ending the year even and “dollars are still coming in. We will make payroll to the end of the year.”

At that meeting, Carter said the city's three unions had still not signed contracts, but he said the agreements were close to being finalized. He said the unions understood the city's need to implement a wage freeze during 2013.

Kristie Linden is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at klinden@tribweb.com or 724-838-5154.

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