Ashland city commissioners on Thursday (June 12) gave preliminary approval to a new, 23-million dollar budget for the next fiscal year.
City Manager Benjamin Bitter says the spending plan provides a three percent pay raise for city employees and makes important investments in Ashland’s water and sewer infrastructure.
“We’ve got actually three and a half million dollars of improvements within our utility fund that we’re going to be financing because the rates are so attractive. We figured it would be best to go and get it ahead of these issues today. We’re gonna try and make sure that this system is going to be reliable, it’s gonna have redundancy and it’s gonna be something that’s gonna last us well into the future.” –Benjamin Bitter
There was a water crisis in Ashland last winter when pipes burst across the city during frigid weather and thousands of homes were without service for several days.
The budget also includes a 20 percent reduction in the city’s property tax rate, which was actually approved last year but goes into effect with the new spending plan.