Wilmington passes compromise budget

The Wilmington City Council voted 7-6 last night to approve a budget for fiscal year 2018. The approval came after some negotiation with Mayor Mike Purzycki over the cuts proposed in his original budget plan. The $154.9 million budget still raises property taxes by 7.5 percent and cuts 16 firefighting positions.

“The Mayor sent Council a fiscally responsible budget which resulted in a foundation for making some tough decisions easier,” said Council President Hanifa Shabazz.

The budget will cut $2 million out of the projected 2018 deficit, though the city anticipates funding gaps through 2021.

“The action of the Council tonight helps us reach a few goals which include reducing the size and cost of government and allowing for a budget surplus next year to help mitigate projected multi-million dollar budget deficits through FY 2020,” Purzycki said.

In addition to the lost firefighting positions, the budget eliminates 29 vacant positions in city government. The revised budget also includes funding for a safe haven in the 6th Council District and a 14-week fire training class for the purpose of hiring additional firefighters later on.

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