Wilmington City Council reconsiders budget vote

(File/WHYY)

(File/WHYY)

Wilmington City Council will hold a special session on Wednesday to reconsider their vote on the 2017 Operating Budget and Water and Sewer Budget.

Last week council members rejected a $154 million budget compromise by a vote of 7 to 6 during a regular scheduled meeting. They also voted against the Water and Sewer Budget.

According to city officials, the compromised operating budget reduced staffing that includes four vacant positions and transferred $1.5 million from the Unassigned Fund Balance to the City’s Housing Strategic Fund. The transfer of funds is supposed to provide support for the city’s new Land Bank, the Wilmington Housing Partnership and other housing related projects benefiting neighborhoods.

Council Member Bob Williams, D-7th Dist., voted against the budget due to concerns about police and fire labor contracts and more. However, Williams is believed to be ready to support the budget after meeting with the mayor’s administration to settle those concerns. The administration was also asked to cut an additional vacant position from the budget.

A written letter released by City Council stated, “The budget also includes an additional $500,000 in savings which the Council negotiated with the [Williams] Administration in the days leading up to last Thursday’s council meeting.”

Another proposed highlight is $100,000 set aside for the Finance and Public Works departments to explore ways to improve government services and reduce costs.

City Council is required by law to adopt a balanced budget by the end of May so it can take effect by July 1.

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