Strickland proposes $669M budget

Strickland proposes $669M budget

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland proposed a nearly $669 million budget, but not everyone is excited about it.

Police and fire unions are already sounding the alarm, saying the budget doesn't benefit them enough.

"This year's budget was much more challenging for us to assemble than last year's budget," Strickland said.

This budget proposal includes an extra $6 million to fund police overtime pay, $3 million to fight blight, and $625,000 for youth programs--including job placement efforts and expanded library hours.

Strickland said, to make ends meet, the city's Human Resources and general services departments will see funding cuts. He also said stormwater and sewer fees may go up $5 per month.

"What we need to do is grow this city, get more people and taxpayers into this city, so our budget is increasing more," Strickland said.

Memphis Police Department is getting the largest increase in this year's proposed budget. Between retention bonuses and raises based on 12 years of service, MPD's share of the budget pie is increasing.

However, Memphis Police Association said it still may not be enough.

"Our biggest problem is, is it enough to start recruiting and retaining officers here?" Thomas Malone said.

Firefighters wont be getting any raises next year under this proposal. Memphis Fire Fighters Association said given the city's violent crime, the budget is an insult to firefighters.

"Just like the police, we are on every scene, and they don't talk about the people that are working on these people," Thomas Malone of the Memphis Fire Fighters Association said.

Budget hearings are set to start next week, with the approval and final reading set for June 7.

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