A threatened city shutdown was averted Friday evening when the City Council approved temporary appropriations.
A council majority - Vera Greaves, William Reid, Gloria Taylor and Council President Bridget Rivers - had declined to move a temporary budget resolution to the March 20 agenda as a new item, so no action was taken on funding city operations for April. Rivers said the council needed to review the temporary budget with a consultant first.
At a 6 p.m. special meeting Friday, the council approved a resolution allotting $27,216,095 for city operations from Jan. 1 through April 30, representing one-third of the total budget for 2013 as allowed by state law.
Although most budget lines were 33 percent of 2013 expenditures, salary and wages for the mayor's office were $57,000, or 55.77 percent of last year's tab. Reid sought to amend the amount to $33,600, but the motion failed, with Reid, Greaves and Taylor voting "yes" and Rivers, Tracey Brown, Cory Storch and Rebecca Williams voting "no."
The resolution then passed as presented, with only Reid voting "no."
The salary for the new post of chief of staff is included in the budget for the mayor's office. Even though the council approved establishment of the title and a salary range, funding for the post has been in dispute since January.
Other categories exceeding the one-third level of funding included 100 percent for snow removal expenses at $49,500 and 57.25 percent for Independence Day expenses. The city also had to pay $4.7 million for the Police and Firemen's Retirement System (PERS) and $1.2 million for the Public Employees Retirement System, at 88.44 percent and 94.70 percent respectively.
Other resolutions passed at the special meeting were one authorizing religious processions on April 12 and 18 for St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church and one rescinding the cancellation of unexpended balances in the capital fund. The latter item was passed on March 20 but had to be redone due to a typo. Finance Director Ron West said the recaptured funds will be used for solely for road repairs.