By Nataly Tavidian, Grand Island/Hastings Reporter - email
Grand Island has opened up their 2014 budget discussion to the public.
The city recently received metropolitan status. With that MPO status, the city has some extra responsibilities, including dedicating $100,000 for a new position: a Metropolitan Planning program manager.
While tax discussions are still preliminary, Tuesday's city council meeting discussing budget plans didn't include tax increase. However that raised some important questions amongst council member.
City Administrator Mary Lou Brown said, "We have many infrastructure items here at the city that is going to need to be addressed within the next several years. We've seen what happens when we don't keep up with our infrastructure or don't address issues when we should, so it's my hope we'll continue that conversation."
During the study session on Tuesday, council members discussed the idea of a tax increase. Brown said, "Council members agreed we should match our recurring revenue with recurring expenses."
The city has added over a million dollars to capital improvement needs, including costs of extra police personnel, and has not increased their tax authority.
These discussions are all preliminary, talks continue for the next three weeks on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The final vote on the budget will take place on September 10.