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City Council voted Tuesday evening to adopt a budget that maintains basic city services and programs, provides enhanced benefits for public safety employees, and invests additional money in crime reduction initiatives, public schools and projects designed to grow Danville.
The budget also includes an average 2 percent pay-for-performance raise for employees, covers a major increase in the cost of employee health insurance, and pays a portion of the increase in retirement contributions for employees that occurred because of new formulas associated with increased life expectancy.
To help pay for these costs, the budget includes a 0.5 percentage point increase in the meals tax from 6.5 percent to 7 percent. Real estate and personal property tax rates and base rates for utilities will remain unchanged.
The budget also includes fee increases for airport hangar rentals and building inspections as well as fee adjustments to accommodate the acceptance of credit cards for payment.
The budget does not include additional funding for school operations, but Danville Public Schools will be allowed to retain up to $2 million in unspent local funds from the current fiscal year. Any unspent funds beyond $2 million would be placed in a capital reserve fund for future school capital needs.
The budget is for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1 and continues through June 30, 2019.
In addition to adopting the budget, City Council voted to:
Also in the business session, Mayor John Gilstrap presented a proclamation for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Danville Area.
Council's meeting included a business session followed by a work session. In work sessions, Council reviews non-routine matters that may be voted upon in future business meetings.
During last night’s work session, Council reviewed the latest financial updates. It then closed the meeting as allowed by state law to discuss a prospective business or industry related to economic development, acquisition of real property or disposition of publicly held real property, and personnel matters.
River City TV airs live all Council business sessions. The first rebroadcast will be at 8 p.m. Thursday. Watch it on cable (Comcast channel 10 and Gamewood channel 122). The recorded broadcast is available now on River City TV’s Facebook page.
River City TV does not air work sessions, but they are open to the public.