published Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

East Ridge budget hearing today

IF YOU GO

What: East Ridge public hearing and budget session; City Council meeting

Where: East Ridge City Hall, 1517 Tombras Ave.

When: Thursday 3-5 p.m.; meeting at 6:30 p.m.

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East Ridge residents concerned about where their tax dollars are going have a chance to give their 2 cents’ worth at a budget workshop this afternoon and at the City Council’s meeting tonight.

The workshop will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall, during which council will discuss budget items line by line and the public will have a chance for input.

The hearing will break for the council’s agenda session at 5:15 p.m., and the meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m., when the public will be given a second chance to speak.

The hearing was planned after the council voted June 10 to table a vote on the first reading of the budget, which includes a 30 cent property tax increase, a 2 percent hotel/motel tax increase and a $5 increase to monthly sanitation fees.

The city’s current property tax rate is $1.12 per $100 of assessed value.

The city faces its third $600,000 deficit if it does not find a way to increase revenues or cut services, City Manager Tim Gobble has said.

Gobble said the council tonight likely will vote to continue the current budget past July 1, when the 2011 fiscal year ends, to allow extra time for the postponed budget readings.

He also said the council likely will vote on the first reading of a potentially amended budget tonight.

“Hopefully that means we won’t be too far behind,” he said. He had originally requested the budget be formalized before the end of June.

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