The Lubbock City Council got a first look at a preliminary budget plan for next year. The City Manager's staff presented a $646.3 million proposal. That is 4.3 percent more than last year's.
It includes a three percent raise for employees without any fee increases. It also includes the LP&L rate hike recently proposed by the Utility Board, which includes an increase of about ten dollars a month for the average residential customer.
Mayor Glen Robertson said he is not sold on that part of the plan, but he is generally pleased with the rest, including the tax rate to pay for it.
"It is a 1.81 percent increase, but that is covering an increase from bonds voted on in 2009," Robertson said. "It is also covering 15 additional firefighters in the creation of a third battalion for the fire department that was voted on by the previous council. I think it is absolutely a testament to how hard the accounting department is working. It is also the fact that we have got some good growth and sales tax revenue, that we have got some good growth in property taxes."
Robertson said Council members want to be as transparent as possible, and will start holding budget workshops at night that will be open to the public.