Decatur makes budget cuts due to pandemic

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - COVID-19 is expected to cut $3.9 million from Decatur’s annual budget.

The city plans to recoup this money in 2021 with across-the-board cuts of 5 percent.

According to our partners at the Decatur Daily, city employees will get a planned 2.5 percent pay increase and merit raises. However, a cost-of-living increase is not in the proposed budget.

On Monday, Decatur councilman John Andrzejewski proposed a $65 million budget that forces city departments to make 5 percent reductions. In that plan, the Police Department would take the largest hit close to $1 million.

A lot of those cuts are canceling planned vehicle purchases and travel.

Decatur Utilities has a new budget in the works too, which includes a proposed $4.92 annual per-customer increase to garbage rates.

DU General Manager Ray Hardin offered to increase the billing rates incrementally over the next two years, but others say one single increase is better.

The council did not make a decision on how it will proceed.

Councilman Andrzejewski predicts the biggest revenue hit, roughly $1.5 million, will come when business licenses are renewed in January. These licenses are based on revenue from the previous year.

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