After Mayor Stoney’s recommendations, Richmond City Council balances budget

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond City Council finally balanced its budget Wednesday. City council members endured a marathon 18-hour meeting that began Monday night and spanned into Tuesday morning before council members sent the budget back to Mayor Levar Stoney for help.

Stoney proposed a balanced budget of $681 million that does not raise taxes. Members agreed to use $2.7 million to fund pay increases for police and firefighters but were struggling to agree on how to fund the increase.

City Council asked Stoney’s administration for help to balance the budget. They said it was between turning to his administration or cutting $1.3 million from the IT department.

“It was extremely tedious,” City Council President Chris Hilbert told 8News. “A lot more work, kind of the sausage making of government here; nobody wants to look at it, just like making sausage, but we have the outlines of where we can go from here.”

8News caught up with Mayor Stoney on Tuesday; he said finding more than $1 million wouldn’t be easy.

“It kind of gets under your skin a bit when we get to this point we still have to do cutting when it’s more of the job of the city council, but you know what, we’ll do our part we’ll step up that’s what we do,” Mayor Stoney said.

“The hard part of being in public service is that everyone can’t win,” Stoney added. “It is my hope that city council did their part in getting the budget correct, and I’m willing to help and we’re going to do our part before Wednesday.”

The mayor’s office did, however, make three recommendations and council approved two of them. The third recommendation was modified.

Council reached an agreement on the movement of $350,000 from the general fund to debt service and $114,000  will be cut from traffic court. They are also shifting money from the City’s Parking Enterprise Fund and reducing cash funding within Public Works.

These changes will fill a nearly $697,000 funding gap.

Council is expected to officially adopt the budget in a couple of weeks.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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