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Jacksonville City Council to tackle billion dollar budget with 36 amendments

8:33 PM, Sep 24, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The city's spending plan starting on October 1 comes up for a vote Tuesday night, with more than 30 amendments offered to add or subtract dollars.

The billion-dollar budget, if approved in its current form, would increase taxes by 10 percent but the council gave itself wiggle room to go up to 15 percent on the millage rate.

The amendments translate into a long night at City Hall, as restoring money to Meals on Wheels, three senior centers and Saturday hours at the Main Library will be debated.

"There is no other place to go but the center," said 87 year-old Walter Purdy while playing dominoes at the Louis Dinah Center on Flag Street.

This is one of three centers on the chopping block. One amendment would provide $200,000 to keep them open.

Meals on Wheels lost $180,000 in city funding this year and is hoping the council revisits and restores funding.

Already, one hundred local seniors have been told that on October 1, meals will no longer be delivered if money is not found at city hall.

The program says it currently has a waiting list pushing 1,000 seniors. 

Mayor Alvin Brown in July proposed a spending plan with more than $60 million in cuts and no new taxes. Brown hinged his budget on pension reform which he says would have saved money and avoided deep cuts. The council rejected the mayor's pension idea.

The city's fiscal year starts on October 1.         

First Coast News

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