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Budget battle over, council eyes other issues

By By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
Nov. 5, 2002
With one of the most grueling budget processes in years behind them, some Meridian councilmen say they are ready to move on with other, more pressing city issues.
Perry said councilmen can now focus on planning for future development within Meridian and drawing the new city council ward lines based on the 2000 Census figures.
The council meets today at 9 a.m. for its first regular meeting of November, nearly a month after ending its long battle to craft Meridian's $86.6 million annual budget.
Budget debate
During the lengthy budget debates and negotiations, councilmen had considered reducing city spending by $273,000 for the fiscal year that started Oct. 1.
In the end, councilmen reduced overall spending $200,000 using the $73,000 for such things as an African American Historic District Redevelopment project and money for city celebrations.
The city also will have $5,000 for forestry grant matches and $4,500 for Christmas decorations for the city.
Future plans
Now that the budget has been approved, Ward 1 Councilman George Thomas said he wants to start looking at some "long range planning" for the city.
Thomas said two items at the top of his "to do" list are crafting a long-range road paving plan and finalizing the city's redistricting map.
Perry said she just hopes the process of crafting next year's budget will run a lot smoother.