Athens city council members to evaluate proposed city budget for upcoming fiscal year

WAFF's Megan Plotka reporting
Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 7:16 AM CDT

ATHENS, Ala. (WAFF) - Athens city leaders are working on the city’s 2024 budget on Friday. They will comb through the needs of each city department from the fire department to the parks and recreation department.

The mayor’s office drew up the proposed $43.5 million budget. Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks says this is a 6% increase from the 2022-2023 budget.

Mayor Marks says one reason for the increase is the cost of living adjustment increase for city workers’ salaries. Plus, about a third of the money is allocated to the police and fire departments.

Mayor Marks says he expects the council to want to go over these issues at the meeting today.

“I think the council will always stay focused on public safety and quality of life,” said Mayor Marks. “You know we have so many issues that’s going on and I mean quality of life, that’s enhancing your parks, playground areas, sports park and other places. And that’s always of high interest.”

WAFF's Megan Plotka reporting

Many cities across the Tennessee Valley are taking different approaches to capital projects in a growing city. In Athens, Mayor Marks wants to use tax dollars to maintain the infrastructure they have now to prepare it for the future. He says he’d like to grow the garbage routes throughout the city.

“One of the things about growth is growth is a wonderful opportunity and a challenge,” explains Mayor Marks. “You know it’s both of those. Because you are basically spending money on the front end and betting on the revenue in the back end.”

The work session starts at 8:30 a.m. at City Hall in Athens. City council members will vote on Sept. 25.

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