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Wilmington City Council to consider budget plans tonight

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A ballpark proposal is not the only big thing on Wilmington City Council's agenda tonight. Council will also begin looking at next year's budget.

According to a city spokeswoman, Council will get a presentation on the recommended 2012-13 budget and take the first of two votes on the plan.

Highlights according to the city:

-A hold-the-line budget that maintains core services but does not include any significant increases for new or enhanced services;
-Proposes a 3-cent tax increase that would provide dedicated funding for needed maintenance and infrastructure, such as street and sidewalk repairs and paving, which have been put on hold during the economic downturn. If approved, the funds would be put into a separate account to pay for a five-year maintenance plan that could not be used for anything else. According to the 2012 Citizen Survey, maintenance and infrastructure needs are the top priority for city residents.
-According to data from the 2011 New Hanover County property revaluation, even with the increase, 50% of property owners would still pay the same or less in taxes because of decreased property values.
-Includes funding for 13 police officer positions previously funded through a federal grant as well as a 2-percent pay raise for employees.
-Does NOT include any proposed funding for a baseball stadium in Wilmington; any such proposal is expected to come on the heels of a completed feasibility study by the city’s baseball management consultant in mid-June.

City Council is expected to hold a public hearing on the budget at its June 5 meeting. A second and final vote should come at the June 19 council meeting.

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