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Roanoke Council approves budget for 2023-24

The Roanoke City Council passed its annual budget at Monday’s meeting, agreeing by a 3-2 vote to a plan that accounts for over $8.3 million in expenditures against expected revenue of slightly more than that.

The budget was passed with a minimal surplus in the amount of just over $11,000. Council member Tammi Holley expressed concern over that amount, stating that the city should have more of a cushion in the budget for unexpected expenses.

Mayor Jill Patterson-Hicks explained that the city has over $1.5 million in its general fund that does not show as revenue in the budget for the new fiscal year. That money is the city’s safety net for unexpected costs. That safety net is not reliant on the budgeted revenue and expenses for the upcoming year.

Holley and John Frank Houston provided dissenting votes in the passing of the budget.

The city’s expected costs are up by nearly $1 million from last year, a rise that comes mostly from the creation of the city’s sanitation department earlier this year. That increase will be offset by the revenue generated by that department for garbage collection services. That money will stay in house instead of being used to pay a third party for trash collection as in years past.

As is the case most years, the greatest amount of the city’s expenses are concentrated in the police department, which is home to the majority of the city’s employees. The budget calls for $2.9 million to be allocated to the Roanoke Police Department.

The full budget is available for public perusal at City Hall.

Revenue Clerk gets raise

In an action that was separate from the passing of the budget, the council approved a $2-per-hour raise for city revenue clerk Shannon Holloway. Holloway has taken on more duties at city hall since former purchasing agent Tim Jacobs was named manager of the newly-formed sanitation department in April. Holloway has assumed many of Jacobs’s former duties and requested a $3-per-hour raise. The case for justification for that increase was that folding those duties into the clerk’s job keeps the city from having to hire another person. Those savings would more than offset the additional money going to Holloway.

The council approved the pay raise for Holloway by a 4-1 vote, with Tammi Holley voting no.

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