Dothan, AL - Dothan city commissioners have approved the city's budget for the next 2 years.
The city will have nearly two million dollars to operate on each year.
“I think the most important part of the budget is we balanced it. We have a balanced budget,” said City Manager Mike West.
In order to balance it, they will have to dip into reserves.
However, leaders say it is mainly because of one-time expenses like adding a fiber optic connectivity throughout the city. That will cost $1.5 million.
They will also pay off the city's two libraries within the next two years.
“I think it was a good budget. We were very conservative. We don't want to get caught with a shift in the economy,” said West.
One way they are already saving money is by teaming up with Houston County.
“Part of what we voted on today which was exciting was the city and Houston County coming together with purchasing. We were able to save money on fuel costs. We're going to continue to do that. You've always got to look at how you can save money,” said Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz.
By saving money, they were able to find funds for five additional police officers and a fire education officer.
There are projects that are not included in the budget, like a new recreational pool at Andrew Belle or a therapeutic pool at Westgate Park.
“Those are things we feel if the economy continues to improve the city could move forward with, but right now they're not in the budget. We just all have our fingers crossed that sales tax revenue continues to grow,” said West.
And hopefully the city's budget will grow with it.
Leaders say they were conservative because the federal government's budget is so uncertain. They say any funds cut from the military could directly affect Fort Rucker and the circle city.
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