Decatur’s city budget increasing nearly $7 million in 2022

“It shows the resiliency of our city through the pandemic, but also the growth we’ve seen,”
Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 9:19 PM CDT
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DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - Decatur’s 2022 budget would have had to have unanimous consent for immediate consideration from the city council to be passed just days ago. But, Councilman Hunter Pepper was absent from the meeting while battling COVID-19.

“I felt like he needed to have the chance to be there to vote on the budget. We have until the end of the month to get the budget passed so, we decided to delay it and we called a special called meeting for four o’clock on Monday,” said Decatur City Council President Jacob Ladner.

Ladner says he voted against immediate consideration because of Pepper’s absence. Ladner say’s last year’s budget was conservative due to the pandemic at around $65 million.

“This year, the budget grew by about $7 million. It’s about $71 1/2 million that we’re budgeting,” said Ladner.

This year’s budget includes a 2.5% cost of living raise for all city employees.

“We of course think that’s really important. The world is recruiting and the way that the job market is right now, we need to stay competitive,” said Ladner.

Also - higher and additional pay for police officers and annual bonuses for paramedics. There’s also benefits for the city’s citizens.

“We’re able to do more through our services. We’re able to add trucks to our solid waste department to make sure our roads are clean and we’re picking up trash, those types of things. Obviously with more money, we would anticipate we hear a lot about making sure our roads are paved,” said Ladner.

Ladner says he’s really proud of the upcoming budget, and the first of this council’s term.

“Obviously being able to budget about $7 million of anticipated revenue, it kind of shows the resiliency of our city through the pandemic, but also the growth we’ve seen. You know, the more people that are here, the more revenue we’ll have,” said Ladner.

The budget will have to be passed Monday during the special called meeting regardless if all council members are in attendance or not.

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