Wilmington City Council approves 2022 budget
Wilmington City Council adopts a Fiscal Year ’22 budget.
Council overwhelmingly passed the Capital and Operating Budgets for the upcoming fiscal year with no raise in property taxes.
The Capital Budget is over $99.2 million while the Operating Budget for fiscal year 2022 is $172.6 million, but to balance the budget the city is using $6 million from the Tax Stabilization Reserve because of declining revenues.
Councilman Chris Johnson says this budget shows the administration and council are on the same page going forward.
"Investing in our parks and streets has been a priority and also our neighborhoods. So I believe the city council's vision is aligned with the administration's," said Johnson. "We have to put more money back directly into our community. So I believe this capital program gets us going forward and again we hope that the additional federal funds that we will be talking about later this month and in the future will help bolster this plan."
More money will be invested in police body cams, stabilizing neighborhoods, city streets and parks.
While he noted some of those positives, City Council President Trippi Congo voted against the operating budget because he believes a perfect budget is within reach, and this is not it.
"I do have concerns that there were raises from the mayor, from the treasurer that is something that could have been addressed but it wasn't," said Congo.
But Councilwoman Michelle Harlee sees this budget as a start to move Wilmington forward into the future.
"This particular budget year is an excellent start to both branches of government balancing what we call true democracy as it relates to thinking about everybody in the city of Wilmington," said Harlee.
Wilmington residents will see 3% increases in charges and rates for water and sewer service while stormwater charges and rates will rise 2%.