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East Ridge City Hall

Applause bounced off the walls at East Ridge City Hall before the City Council unanimously approved the 2019-2020 operating budget at its second hearing June 27.

The $13.9 million budget is about $1.9 million less than last year's and does not raise property taxes. The nearly $2 million difference is due to overestimating revenues in 2019 and unforeseen expense items over the course of the year, officials said.

The new budget allows for employee raises, construction of a new playground and splash pad at Pioneer Frontier Park, new police vehicles, and a sanitation truck.

From last year's budget, only two line items were not fulfilled before the June 30 fiscal year-end, according to Mayor Brian Williams: the acquisition of about $35,000 in new SWAT rifles and renovations to the city tennis courts.

Ordered in August 2018, the rifles were initially supposed to come in three months later, but due to miscommunications, they are not scheduled to arrive until after June 30.

The work on the tennis courts was delayed due to rain and other weather issues, but will continue as weather permits.

Under state law, any funds remaining in the budget, even if they were accounted for, revert into the general fund, so the council plans to amend the 2018-19 budget once these items are fulfilled.

Email Sabrina Bodon at sbodon@timesfreepress.com

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