The Wilmington City Council voted 7-6 to approve the fiscal year 2018 budget. The approval came after negotiations with Mayor Mike Purzycki over proposed cuts, including 29 vacant positions and 16 firefighting positions.
The $154.9 million budget raises property taxes by 7.6 percent and cuts $2 million out of the 2018 deficit.
“The Mayor sent Council a fiscally responsible budget which resulted in a foundation for making some tough decisions easier. I would like to thank Mayor Purzycki and my Council colleagues,” said Council President Hanifa Shabazz.
Not all of the Council President’s colleagues agreed. Some members said the firefighting cuts represented a threat to public safety.
Purzycki has noted that those positions were possible due to a short-term federal grant, and that this budget should meet the needs of the department.
“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
The budget also includes funding a safe haven shelter in the 6th Council District and a fire training class for the purpose of training more firefighters.