The Plymouth Common Council conducted a public hearing for the 2017 budget during Monday night’s meeting.
With more than a million dollars need to cut from the requests, City Clerk Treasurer Jeannie Xaver told common council members working with the Mayor and department heads they were able to cut $1,172,000.
Cuts made to next year’s budget included $65,900 from the Police Department for 2 vehicles and related equipment; $33,000 was cut from the Fire Department budget totally taking out additional turn-out gear. $240,000 was removed from the city property budget for repairs to City Hall and the Park Department had to give up a mower, gator and the brick repair project at Nixon Field. The Motor Vehicle Highway Fund also took a hit of $300,000 out of the street and alley improvement line item.
The final cut came from the health insurance line item. Anthem will no longer provide the type of insurance the city has had with them. A proposal was presented from Physicians Health Plan which will save the city $661.00 annually from their current cost and the proposal also included a guarantee cap of no more than 10% increase for 2018.
Xaver said the advertised tax rate for 2017 is $1.9863 compared to the current tax rate of $1.57. She said she does expect the rate to get to $1.79 for next year.
While Xaver said, “I do appreciate the department heads making cuts.” The city clerk said, “The department heads need to learn that they cannot spend all of their budgets. There is contingency built into the budget and they need to learn restraint.” She also said, “Department heads historically have had a use it or lose it mentality.”
There were no public comments on the budget for 2017.