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- 2013 - December - 3rd -

Mowing bill receives extra funds

By David Chapman, Staff Writer

Legislation to increase mowing and landscaping throughout the city received a funding boost Monday by a City Council committee.

About $1.2 million was set aside during council's budget discussion in late September for an increased level of mowing.

A reorganization bill also making its way through council would merge the activities into its own division, with about $700,000 going toward salaries of 11 people and the other $500,000 allocated for division overhead, the council Rules Committee was told Monday.

Those funds were effectively to build the shell of the division.

"If we are going to do it, we are going to do it right," said council member Richard Clark. "It's exactly the kind of thing we need to be doing … this is good use of taxpayer dollars."

He later offered an amendment adding $900,000 to the budget, which represented about $100,000 for the remaining nine months of the fiscal year if work were to begin in January.

The money is slated to come from reserve accounts, but discussion was that it would be a placeholder until another potential source was found.

The $1.2 million allocated during the budget process is intended to raise the level of services.

"The public needs to know that we care about every neighborhood in this city," said council member Denise Lee, who spearheaded the idea.

While the mowing bill passed the committee, the bill dealing with Mayor Alvin Brown's second phase of city reorganization was deferred.

A special meeting has been called for 4 p.m. Monday to discuss the issue.

If passed, it could be up for a vote during the final council meeting of the year Dec. 10.

dchapman@baileypub.com

@writerchapman

(904) 356-2466

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