Monday night the Plymouth Common Council approved the 2017 budget on 2nd and 3rd readings with votes of 5 to 1. The advertised amount is $12,586,618.
Last month, during the budget review City Clerk Treasurer Jeannie Xaver requested the $13.6 million budget be pared-down by more than a million dollars in an effort to create a balanced budget instead of a funded budget that would require dipping into the reserves to meet the requests.
Working with department heads, the mayor and clerk were able to cut almost $1.2 million of the initial request.
Monday night the lone no vote came from Councilman Gary Cook who said, “I just feel that it was inappropriate to make the majority of the cuts, especially in public safety.” He said he would have preferred tell all department heads to cut their budgets by a certain percentage across the board.
City Attorney Sean Surrisi clarified that two of the public safety cuts were not to existing expenses but to the implementation of a take-home car program for the police and a second set of turnout gear for the firefighters.
Fire Chief Rod Miller did confirm that he purchased some additional turnout gear this year instead of 800 megahertz radios and he is looking at other avenues to complete that purchase.
The 2017 Salary Ordinance was presented for first reading with no comments. Last month council members questioned pay increases for several employees in the Clerk’s office.
The Clerk Treasurer did submit additional information for the increases but being first reading…there was no vote or comments. The council will consider the ordinance on 2nd reading and possibly 3rd reading at their October 24th meeting.