Aldermen adopt 2015-16 budget

Taxes on the typical house with a market value of $311,070 will rise $144 under the 2015-16 budget that the Board of Aldermen approved Thursday night.
Republicans on the board tried to trim some money from the budget proposal sent to the aldermen by the Board of Finance, including $455,000 from the school budget request. But the Democrats, who hold the majority on the board, outvoted them and the city and school budgets went through largely as they had been presented.
Altogether, the city and school budget proposals total $202.18 million, which is an increase of $3.8 million over the current year, or a 1.94% increase.
The mill rate will go from 27.22 mills to 27.88 mills, which is an increase of .66 mills, or a 2.4% mill increase.
In addition to trying to cut money from the school request, the Republicans also tried to remove the open space manager’s job from the city budget.
The position, held by Steve Johnson, has been paid out of a special open space fund, and the Republicans wanted to keep it that way and not add it to the regular budget.
But the Democrats outvoted them 9-6 on that matter too, and the open space manager’s job now becomes part of the regular budget. Open space proponents have been pushing for several years to move that job into the regular budget.