Decatur city leaders propose $91 million budget for fiscal year 2024

DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – The start of a new fiscal year is fast approaching for Decatur and city leaders will soon have to make some important decisions. The proposed $91 million budget is one of the highest budget proposals for a fiscal year in the city’s history.

Decatur has benefited financially from its growing sales and use tax, which represents 48 percent of the proposed historic budget.

The budget will aim to prioritize increasing salaries for firefighters, police officers and municipal employees. Mayor Tab Bowling says the move aligns with the city’s number one priority, public safety.

“In this budget we’ve paid a lot of attention to the fire service and trying to make it market fit, so we’re happy to do that. On top of that, our city employees will receive a 3% COLA,” Bowling told News 19.

Bowling says for the coming year, Decatur will focus on a number of projects that the general budget fund will not have to fund.

The mayor says these projects are funded by a 2021 agreement with 3M. The company had to pay millions to the city after dumping harmful chemicals into Morgan County water bodies.

“We will have a new recreation center at Wilson Morgan Park with an auditorium,” Bowling said. “We also have some improvements coming to Point Mallard to include covered outdoor pickleball facilities.”

Bowling was asked what River City residents would get out of the proposed budget. He says city residents can certainly expect to benefit from what the budget aims to accomplish.

“They benefit from a better quality of life. Hopefully, they will be able to receive better service from the city with the compensation improvements we are making,” the mayor said. “We believe this will allow us to hire more employees where we have a certain amount of open headcount.”

City leaders are expected to vote on the proposed budget at their next City Council meeting scheduled for Sept. 18.


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