Proposed budget offers good news for Reading residents, commuters
Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer is calling for tax reductions and staff increases in his budget for next year.
Spencer presenting his $82.5 million plan to City Council on Monday afternoon. The proposed budget holds the line on property taxes and cuts earned income taxes for both residents and commuters.
Spencer also calls for using federal funds to hire more firefighters and giving firefighters their raises since wages were frozen and starting salaries reduced under the Act 47 financial recovery plan.
The mayor said he also wants to maintain staffing levels in the police department and to hire two staffers for the Citizens Services Center.
"A recent analysis showed that, while the call center answers over 30,000 incoming calls a year, about 31 percent of total calls still go unanswered," Spencer said.
Spencer's plan would also add a fourth ambulance to the city's fleet.
"I look forward to working with members of City Council in the coming weeks to finalize the 2014 budget, and invite citizen input at an upcoming hearing on the general fund budget, which is tentatively scheduled for Mon., Oct. 8.
Council must approve a spending plan by the end of November.
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