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Mayor Battle Says Budget Challenges Still Ahead for Huntsville

City of Huntsville Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said today the City of Huntsville has to remain fiscally conservative for the upcoming budget year to serve its citizens, protect its AAA credit rating and remedy some important cuts from past city budgets during the recession.

Mayor Battle said his Administration has begun the budget process for FY2012 with city departments and agencies. Later today, the Mayor and the Huntsville City Council will begin to discuss budget issues during a City Council Work Session.

The Mayor said the last three years have been extremely challenging for the nation and state and local governments across the country. Mayor Battle said, "Our budgets have decreased by more than $10 million since 2008. We have cut or postponed important investments in the City's fleet, its people and city agencies. As we begin to see some growth in city revenues, our first priority must be to restore those investments, and to address anticipated expenditures we know will come."

"Our fleet has aging police cars, fire trucks and sanitation trucks," Mayor Battle said. The Mayor also said, "Our people have worked tirelessly to keep the costs of services low and the quality high. The city workforce is one of which we can all be proud. It's time to address keeping step raises in the budget for our hard working public servants." And Mayor Battle praised those city-wide agencies which have endured across-the-board budget cuts in recent years, "We asked these agencies to endure sacrifices and still perform their mission to this community. It's time to make them whole if the budget allows, while remaining vigilant with taxpayers money."

The mayor will also ask the City Council to work with him on restoring important capital items in this year's city budget. In addition to addressing fleet, personnel, and agencies, Mayor Battle must address increasing funds for street resurfacing, the north Public Safety Precinct and required radio equipment upgrades for police and fire departments this budget year. Budget hearings will continue throughout the summer. The City's fiscal year begins October 1st.

June 30, 2011

Expenditure cuts required to balance budget since 2008:
Department operating costs
Capital plan

Critical funding needs in 2012 - 2016:
  Fire trucks
  Police cars
  Sanitation trucks
  All other departments
Restore outside agencies funding
800 MHZ radio system upgrade
Fuel cost increases (needed now)
North Public Safety Precinct (add)
Street resurfacing



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