WILMINGTON — Mayor John Stanforth is proud of next year’s city budget and wants to see the city continue its good work.
“Last year, I was proud of (the 2019 budget). This year it’s even better,” said Stanforth at Thursday’s Wilmington City Council meeting.
Council held the first reading of the city’s 2020 budget — $58.7 million — and a resolution to approve the placement of a 0.50-percent permanent municipal income tax on the March 17, 2020 ballot.
The over $15.4 million increase from the 2019 budget is mostly because of the tracking of $12 million in loans and grants. Stanforth told council members and attendees that they wouldn’t be discussing these kinds of budgets if not for the citizens trusting them and approving of the tax increase in 2016.
“Four years ago when we asked the citizens to give a half of a percent of their money, I said we would pave streets, and we just completed the largest residential street paving program in the history of Wilmington,” he said.
Also citing the work that safety/service providers have done and the city’s code enforcement, Stanforth believes they’ve earned the citizens’ trust with husbanding taxpayer money and using it.
“Now it’s time to go back and asking them to trust us to make it permanent,” he said.
Along with Councilmember and Finance Committee Chair Kristi Fickert, Stanforth praised the heads of departments for their work and for being responsible with their budgets.
The next readings for both the budget and the resolution are scheduled for a special council meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 10.
Also during council:
• Council held the second reading of an ordinance to the Sugartree Street TIF. The third reading will take place at the emergency council meeting on Dec. 10.
• Stanforth introduced council members and attendees to Greg Muenchen, the city’s new HR director, at the meeting.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574