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Mayor presents fiscal budget

URBANA -- Mayor Laurel Prussing announced her budget for the next fiscal year.
URBANA -- Mayor Laurel Prussing announced her budget for the next fiscal year. The city didn't raise property taxes, but bills were higher this year.

City leaders call it the "Carle Effect." Mayor Prussing says, because the hospital isn't paying property taxes, the city had to come up with creative ways to keep the budget steady. It included a quarter cent sales tax increase and some spending cuts.

The budget, which starts in July, is a $60.5 million plan. The biggest cut came from health insurance. The city renegotiated its contract with Health Alliance. It saved the city $500,000.

Raises for police officers, firefighters and public works employees aren't included in the budget. The city is still talking with union leaders.

The budget also took a major hit because of the weather. The public works department went about $100,000 over budget in overtime and road repairs.

Carle and the city of Urbana are in court battling the propety tax issue. Mayor Prussing expects a ruling in June.

A big part of the new budget is going to improving roads. $5 million is going to reconstructing Windsor Road between Philo Road and Race Street. Work begins this summer. Another $7 million will improve Olympian Drive.
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