Mayor Outlines Budget During City Address 4-29-2010 - WSMV Channel 4

Mayor Outlines Budget During City Address 4-29-2010

Mayor Karl Dean addressed the city Thursday in the 47th annual State of Metro address downtown at Riverfront Park.

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As he presented his $1.5 billion budget, Dean said the most any city department's budget will be cut is 5 percent, but others will be as low as 2 percent. Before Thursday’s announcement, Dean predicted cuts closer to about 7 percent for every city department.
The department of safety faces the smallest cuts at about 1 percent, and the health department faces the most at about 5 percent.
Libraries, parks, Public Works and bus lines will likely keep the same services and hours of operation, said the mayor.
Dean said the city will fully fund the budget request for schools this year and would like to see all Metro employees receive a two percent pay increase. Everyone who has worked for the city longer than 10 years will start to get longevity pay again.
The mayor proposed that the city fund two new police precincts in Madison and south Nashville and also build a new library in Bellevue.
"That's the analysis of what we need to do with this year's budget: Keep taxes low, maintain core services and invest in the future. Put that way, it sounds pretty simple. In principle, it is, but it's a challenge to implement and practice," said Dean.
To pay for the projects, Dean said he also wants the city to re-finance debt to take advantage of low interest rates.
The city will still have to make cuts. Currently, Metro Council members are still discussing with the mayor's office what will be trimmed from the budget.
The mayor had promised to protect education and public safety, but many taxpayer services could be on the line.
Dean is expected to officially file the budget next week, but it must be approved by the city council.

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