Reading City Council wants public input on $92M budget

VIDEO Reading council discusses $92...

READING, Pa. - Reading City Council gathered Monday night to discuss a proposed $92 million budget, up 1.4 percent from last year. 

"Well, the city is strengthening financially," said Glenn Steckman, the city's managing director. "So, now it's getting the council to approve the budget and to agree with what the Scott administration wants in the budget."

The budget, funded in part by earned income tax and property taxes, is diverse. It covers spending on everything but the kitchen sink.   

"It includes everything from two new fire stations to an upgrade of a major police staging unit," said Donna Reed, city council's vice president, "and also some aesthetics, a welcome sign to the city of Reading on the Fifth Street railroad bridge." 

It was cause for concern when it came time for public comment during Monday's budget meeting as council members had a lot of empty seats staring back at them.

"90,000 people in the city of Reading. Not one person either has an issue with what's been presented or doesn't care about what's presented?" Reed questioned. "We want to hear back from the public. It's both our obligation and our privilege to hear from the public."

Many around the city see room for improvement.

"Barbey's Park around there, most of the kids, if they ain't out here, they're over there playing basketball, having picnics," said Cynthia Stevenson of Reading.

"The sidewalks, they're cracked and they're are a lot of messed up sidewalks," said Jessica Hall of Reading. "I keep getting my stroller stuck."

Would Hall have shown up if she knew there was a meeting Monday night? 

"Yeah, just let them know what's going on with the sidewalks," she said.

Reed said the next open meeting is set for October 28.

All the meeting information is posted on the city's website.

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