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Council gives budget initial approval

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Paige Brown

The Gallatin City Council has given initial approval to the city's proposed $38.13 million budget for 2017-18 fiscal year.

The spending plan, presented by Mayor Paige Brown last week, includes funding for four new police officers, a 1.5 percent cost of living increase for city employees and no property tax increase. The budget also has a $6.5 million rainy day fund and $5.4 million for various capital improvement projects.

"I don't anticipate any big changes to the budget (being made)," Brown said following the meeting. "We had several members of the council participate in the budget hearings this year, so I think that helped them understand where we are."

Some of the projects funded in the budget include $800,000 to build the city's fifth fire station at the corner of Nichols Lane and Clear Lake Meadows Boulevard; $800,000 for paving; $225,000 for police vehicles; $180,000 for two fire engines; $175,000 to repave the Civic Center's upper parking lot; and $100,000 for tennis court resurfacing.

In other business, the city council approved an ordinance appropriating $150,000 to hire a professional stormwater utility consultant to develop a comprehensive stormwater management program for the city. The consultant will also help determine a monthly user fee that will be added to utility bills beginning Jan. 1 in order to provide dedicated funding for drainage infrastructure improvement projects across the city.

City leaders also deferred a final vote Tuesday on whether to spend $175,000 to move a prominent two-story Nashville Pike house and use the building for office space for city employees. The entire project, which would relocate the house from the corner of Tulip Poplar Drive and Nashville Pike to Gallatin Public Works on Long Hollow Pike, would cost an estimated $1 million to complete.

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