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Budget talks continue

By By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
Oct. 4, 2002
Meridian City Councilmen cut nearly $300,000 from its annual budget Thursday during a three-hour meeting at City Hall.
Councilmen met with city leaders and department heads to discuss the budget. The goal: cut $800,000 from their original spending plan for the fiscal year that began Tuesday.
The work session came three days after councilmen approved the city's $86 million budget.
Councilmen were forced to adopt the last-minute budget after the mayor vetoed their original spending plan because it didn't include a water rate increase.
In the end, the council approved a budget that was reduced by $800,000 and also included an 8 percent water rate increase. Now councilmen must decide how they will save the $800,000.
On Thursday, councilmen spent much of the three-hour meeting looking at each city department's budget line-by-line and decided what they could do without.
Some of the cuts they made included $27,850 for a street sweeper, $5,000 in furniture and appliances for the fire department and $6,000 for a time-lapse video recorder system for the police department.
The council plans to schedule another work session next week to decide what else it will cut.
Ward 3 Councilman Barbara Henson said she plans to go over the budget again and see if she can find items that can be cut.