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City passes $12.4 budget

The Greenville City Council approved a $12.4 million budget Monday night for the 2014-15 fiscal year.

The budget represents an $876,194 increase from the budget approved by the council for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

“We’ve been working on this for about three or four months,” Greenville Mayor Dexter McLendon said. “It’s a balanced budget and it’s close to the same amount as last year’s budget.”

City Clerk Sue Arnold said the primary reason for the increase in the budget was grant funding the city received for upgrades to Mac Crenshaw Memorial Airport. The $631,625 the city received will increase both revenue and expenditures for the city.

The budget also includes allocations for E-911 in the amount of $30,000 and the Butler County Emergency Management Agency in the amount of $4,000, as well as a sales tax rebate incentive for Wintzell’s Oyster House.

The budget did not include a 2 percent cost of living raise for city employees. The council also voted Monday night to suspend all merit raises for one year.

The city has given its employees a cost of living raise every year since 2005, according to McLendon.

“A few years ago we put a 2 percent cost of living raise in for our employees and also a merit raise,” McLendon said. “In this year’s budget, we will not be able to do that, and I regret that.”