The city of Atlanta’s fiscal 2020 budget will include no change to the millage rate and raises for firefighters, 911 dispatchers and others.
“Once again, Atlanta’s mayor and city council worked together to produce a budget that is structurally balanced and doesn’t raise taxes,” District 7 Councilman Howard Shook, who chairs the council’s finance and executive committee, said in a news release. “And once again, it was no accident, providing more proof of the good we can do when we work together.”
At its meeting June 17 at City Hall, the council voted 14-0 to approve the fiscal 2020 general fund budget, which is $677 million, nearly $16 million more than the fiscal 2019 one.
Like last year, the budget will include a 3.1% salary increase for sworn fire rescue department personnel and recruits. But unlike the fiscal 2019 budget, this one will not include a similar raise for police officers.
However, it does include a 3.1% pay hike for 911 dispatchers and a jump in the minimum wage for all Atlanta employees to $15 an hour, with the latter paid for by $800,000 in initial funding from the office of independent compliance. The budget also includes $150,000 for enhanced senior services programs.
“I commend the council, including our city council research and policy staff, along with the mayor’s team, for their collaboration toward making this another relatively seamless budget process,” Council President Felicia Moore said in a news release. “The due diligence required to address many of the more complex budget issues was performed during the departmental hearings and an interactive public hearing.
“As always, the budget represents a substantive investment in service areas that directly impact the quality of life for citizens of Atlanta, and we look forward to continually serving the needs of our city.”
In other meeting news, the council approved legislation creating the Atlanta Department of Transportation and authorizing the chief financial officer to anticipate and appropriate funding for the department (Legislative Reference No. 19-O-1159).
The new department, which Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has wanted since she took office in 2018, will perform several functions and duties, including developing comprehensive transportation plans, coordinating transportation operations and conducting maintenance on transportation assets in the city.
Also, the council approved a resolution authorizing a five-year cooperative purchasing agreement for public safety cameras and equipment for the police department in an amount not to exceed $26.42 million with two one-year renewal options (Legislative Reference No. 19-R-3747).