DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) — Decatur’s City Council approved a record-breaking $91.1 million budget. The largest fiscal budget in the River City’s history.
However, the passage did not come without some extensive discussion at Monday morning’s city council meeting. While the immediate discussion of the proposal was welcomed by all five members, District 1 Councilman Billy Jackson was hesitant about the final stamp of approval.
Jackson warned the council of his feelings ahead of the vote.
“While I will not stand in the way of the immediate consideration, if this is the move the council wants to make I will not approve this budget today,” he said.
Councilman Jackson said he was having “difficulty” agreeing with everything that was in the budget. He also felt like more time should be spent on reviewing it. In the end, the budget passed with a 5 to 1 vote.
The $91 million budget surpasses last year’s budget by nearly $10 million. With it comes better wages for city workers.
“A lot of good stuff in there,” said Council President Jacob Ladner. “Mostly just your city operations as part of that but we got a three percent raise for all employees. We did a market adjustment for our fire department that was greatly needed which puts us in a very competitive situation for the fire department so now our police and fire are both very competitive from a pay standpoint.”
Mayor Tab Bowling says the budget aligns with the city’s number one priority: public safety and getting departments like Fire and Rescue “market-based” pay.
Additional city projects will be funded by a 2021 settlement from 3M after they were said to have dumped harmful chemicals into bodies of water across Morgan County.