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City budget passes with no tax increase
Pirtle, Tim mug.jpg

The McMinnville Board of Mayor and Aldermen gave initial approval for a 2019-20 fiscal year budget on Tuesday night. While it passed without a property tax increase, or $900,000 in cuts, the budget is likely to change before final approval.

“Departmental budgets are going back to committees,” said city attorney Tim Pirtle, who offered his legal opinion during the meeting that the board should not consider making $900,000 in cuts as recommended by the city’s Finance Committee without those reductions first being reviewed by departmental committees.

The budget, as presented, passed unanimously. In attendance were Vice Mayor Ryle Chastain and Aldermen Mike Neal, Steve Harvey, Kate Alsbrook, Everett Brock, and Rachel Kirby. Mayor Ben Newman was absent.

Committee meetings scheduled to consider the alternate budgets with cuts and a 13-cent tax increase are as follows:

Building and Grounds Committee, Aug. 20 at 11 a.m. To be reviewed will be the budget for Community Development Department.

Safety Committee, Aug. 20 at 5 p.m. To be reviewed will be the budgets for Police Department and Fire Department.

Parks and Recreation Committee, Aug. 22 at 5 p.m. To be reviewed will be the budgets of Parks and Recreation Department and Park Theater.

Absent from the list is the budget for the city’s Public Works Department. The Safety Committee met Tuesday night, prior to board consideration, and members unanimously approved the changes recommended by Finance Committee members which reduced the overall Public Works budgets by $485,700, from $2.7 million to $2.3 million. 

Removed completely was all money for street paving in fiscal year 2019-20. 

Tuesday night’s initial vote on the ordinance may not count. Pirtle clarified on Wednesday that if committees make “substantial changes” to the budgets, it might prompt the need for a third vote on the budget.