City Budget Down to Funding Part Time Firefighters

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City Council is now mulling over the budget proposed by the City Manager in a series of budget work sessions. On the table is a 1.5 percent increase in real estate taxes while personal property rates would remain level. Utility rates would remain unchanged. The meals tax gets another bump from 6.5 percent 7 percent and the cigarette tax goes from 20 to 30 cents per pack. Still, the City is trying to make ends meet even with the suggested increases. Council is also considering reducing the payroll by four full-time jobs.

Meanwhile, Public Safety Departments are pleading for their departments to be spared. The City Manager says the deficit is over half a million dollars, but the Martinsville Fire Department is making a case to keep their part-time firefighter’s program – a program that costs the city more than $50,000 a year. Fire Chief Ted Anderson says the cuts would take them back to staffing levels of the 80’s but with a 400 percent increase in call volume. s and work. Right now, Anderson says the department relies on the 12 part timers especially during peak hours – 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The City Manager agrees that public safety is a top

Anderson says the department relies on the 12 part timers especially during peak hours – 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The City Manager agrees that public safety is a top priority, but there is just not enough money. Anderson hopes his presentation will convince council that the part time firefighters should stay.

The first public hearing will be on April 25th.