WILMINGTON — Next year’s city budget may be higher, but with a good carryover including progress on some city projects.
Wilmington City Council held the first reading of the 2019 budget during Thursday’s meeting with discussions continuing from a special meeting held on Wednesday. During the meetings, they highlighted noted differences between the two budgets. The 2019 budget is a more than $1.7 million increase from the 2018 budget, which includes a 25 percent carryover from this year’s.
One of the noted changes is the elimination of the K9 program at the Wilmington Police Department.
Police Chief Duane Weyand told the News Journal he would provide further information on the program’s future, and on K9 Karson, at a later date.
Council also noted the street paving budget went over budget this year, but Safety/Service Director Brian Shidaker told council he decided to take advantage of opportunities he saw to get more done.
“This year we did more and we actually went into next year’s planning program in the street paving on what I thought was really good prices. So, we just went ahead and did as much as we possibly could,” said Shidaker.
While the city did extend the street paving budget, this allowed them to get ahead of schedule, according to Shidaker.
A second and third reading is scheduled for the Dec. 20 meeting.
Also during the meeting, the proposed new city zoning code got its the second reading, with eight proposed edits for it.
Among the eight — approved by council — were a few changes, with the rest described as “clarifying points,” according to Planning Commissioner Taylor Stuckert.
“(The code) is a living document; it’s not going to be perfect. We learn things as they go,” said Stuckert. “No doubt we will have amendments in the future. The idea of this was to provide a new framework and something that we can work with rather than trying to crazily Band-Aid over time.”
The third and final reading is scheduled for their Dec. 20 meeting.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574