On Tuesday night the Manhattan City Commission passed the first reading for the 2015 budget. It includes a 2.1% increase from the 2014 budget coming in at a total of 134,125,392.
Some last minute changes brought on by a travel spending reduction desired by Mayor Wynn Butler began a discussion on the merits of the commission traveling to local and national events. Mayor Butler said a reduction would prove to the community the desire of the commission to be good stewards of the budget. Commissioner Karen McCulloh disagreed with the sentiment stating that involvement in these events could be crucial for the city. However, after some debate the city passed the changes with a vote of four to one with commissioner McCulloh casting the dissenting vote.
Overall spending will increase by around 2.1% which city staff compared to the 2.1% increase of the consumer price index. That index is created by selecting a “market basket” of goods compared to a baseline year.
The commission approved a 4% increase in stormwater taxes in another agenda item.