WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – For the first time, Warner Robins city leaders and department heads met to discuss the fiscal 2014 budget before its finalized.
After three hours of questions and concerns, there were still worries about the $35 million budget after Thursday's work session. The employee pay raise seemed to raise the most concerns. The pay adjustment recommends a 3% pay increase for city employees. Several council members are concerned the city is being overly optimistic about the financial future.
"When I just think of all the people and furloughs at Robins Air Force Base," Robbins said.
"Public works had an employee for over six years making less than $9," said council member Paul Shealy, "it's embarrassing."
Publicly, Mayor Chuck Shaheen praised the city for its transparency.
"This has been productive," Shaheen said, "I hope we set a precedent for years and years to come."
Besides the pay raise, the police department, fire department and public works all received positive feedback. Warner Robins Fire Chief Ross Moulton budgeted for a new fire truck and fire station. The new station will be located near Highway 96 and Cartwright Drive.
"As most of you know, our old truck is about 20 years old," Moulton said.
Warner Robins Police Chief Brett Evans talked to council about getting additional detectives. Warner Robins Public Works Director Joe Musselwhite mentioned planned sidewalks and road projects. He also encouraged council to consider "beautifying" the new law enforcement center.
As the meeting adjourned, the budget appeared to be balanced without a tax increase. Council plans to vote on it at the next city council meeting on June 17.