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Winder votes to approve FY15 budget

City council also agrees on salary raises for police officers, firefighters

POSTED: June 4, 2014 1:00 p.m.

After months of planning, strategizing and adjusting, the Winder City Council approved last night the adoption of a budget for fiscal year ending June 30, 2015.

Final council approval of this budget now means the document can be submitted to the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for consideration to receive a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, as Winder did for the fiscal year 2014.

The $33.2 million budget includes a nearly 12 percent increase over last year primarily due to increases in the gas fund and a more accurate tally of what it costs to maintain buildings.

The $3.6 million budget increase includes a $1.4 million bump in the projected cost of natural gas. Also, the building fund is projected to increase from $484,000 to $600,000.

The budget also includes five fewer full-time employees compared to the current budget. The biggest change is in public works since the city has outsourced the department.

In addition to the budget approval, at last night’s council meeting Winder was proclaimed to be a Purple Heart Community, which means that the city of Winder "has the utmost admiration and gratitude for the men and women of the Armed Forces, and furthermore honors all citizens who are Purple Heart recipients," according to the meeting agenda.

Councilman Bob Dixon first approved this motion, adding that he did so with "a great deal of enthusiasm and appreciation" for members of the Armed Forces in the community.

Adjustments to pay grades for policemen and firefighters were also approved "in order to better attract and retain qualified public safety first responders," the agenda stated.

Beginning July 1, in accordance with the budget for fiscal year 2015, police officers’ base starting salary will rise from $34,000 to $35,053 based on 2,184 hours a year, and firefighters’ base starting salary will rise from $29,906 to $31,005 based on 2,756 hours a year.

 

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