Final hearings are underway on Thomasville's proposed budget for the coming year, a budget that calls for pay increases for Thomasville police and fire.
Thomasville City Manager Steve Sykes says, "The last thing you want to do is develop an employee and then lose them because you're not paying them a fair wage, and so we'll continue to merit increases when we feel like we need to."
The city manager says an increase in city revenue and money rolling over from last year increased the proposed budget from $82 million in 2005 to $89.6 million in 2006, allowing some department funding to grow even while city expenses increase.
Thomasville Mayor Rick Singletary says, "Gas costs are up dramatically, so we're having to whittle our budgets in other areas to offset those increases."
Along with increases for police and fire, the city manager says the proposed budget also allows for some street improvements, including the paving of a few Thomasville streets, all part of a balanced budget, he says, that won't make residents dip into their pockets.
City Manager Sykes says, "No tax increase. In fact, the council voted to roll back taxes so that not only was the millage rate held, it was actually decreased in that we won't generate anymore revenue with taxes."
Final approval for Thomasville's 2006 budget will come at the December 21 City Council meeting.