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Published on June 21st, 2016 |

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City Council approves $607 million Atlanta 2017 operating budget

The Atlanta City Council Monday approved Mayor Kasim Reed’s recommended $607 million Fiscal Year operating budget for 2017. The city’s total budget, including operation and enterprise funds, totals $2.02 billion.

“As the City emerges from the worst economic downturn in 80 years, it will not tap into its reserve fund to balance the fiscal year 2017 budget,” Mayor Reed’s office said.

The 2017 budget focuses on investments in infrastructure, public safety and recreational facilities. However, the question is whether or not it will provide the necessary investments in infrastructure to improve the city’s roads and sidewalks, sewers, water system, and other elements that have been virtually ignored since the mid-1970s.

According to the Mayor’s office, the budget includes:

  • $6 million in infrastructure maintenance ($12 million since FY 2015) — an investment that will improve the city’s roads, bridges, sidewalks and upgrade critical public buildings and facilities.
  • $12.5 million in compensation increases for public safety employees, including sergeants, lieutenants and rank and file officers in the Atlanta Police Department and mid-career officers in the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department.
  • More than $400,000 for park maintenance and the launch of the city’s first Comprehensive Center for Fathers. In his 2016 State of the City Address, Mayor Reed announced the launch of the Fatherhood Center, an initiative that will mentor young men, help them grow their strengths in parenting and other life skills, and offer individual counseling and job services.

A pay increase for mid-career officers in the Atlanta Police Department and Atlanta Fire Rescue Department was approved Monday night by the Atlanta City Council as an amendment in the city’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget.

The budget includes $12.5 million in compensation increases for public safety employees. The pay increase will affect approximately 1,100 police officers and more than 400 firefighters.

The budget amendment also keeps pay and benefits competitive across all ranks in both departments, the statement said. APD beat officers, those who respond to 911 calls, had not received a pay raise in several years. And, traditionally, firefighters have never had pay equity.

“The pay increase in both departments provides clear compensation growth for mid-career sworn professionals, keeping more experienced officers and firefighters in Atlanta and supporting them as they grow their families,” Reed’s said.

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