Bristol, Va. city council budget to include property tax, garbage fee increases to avoid cuts to fire department

(WJHL)

BRISTOL, VA (WJHL) – Bristol, Va. city council members said during their meeting Tuesday night that they have found a way to avoid cutting $200,000 from the fire department, but in order to do that there will be increases in property taxes and in the trash collection fee.

After hearing public comment at the last meeting, council members went back to the drawing board to find other ways to avoid eliminating two firefighter positions and two deputy positions.

“That’s why we have public hearings. It’s good that people come out,” Mayor Archie Hubbard said. “That’s how you get things done. If you stay home and complain, we don’t hear that. So, if you want to have your voice heard, you have to come down in large numbers.”

Council members decided on a $2 increase for the trash collection fee and decided to not hire an emergency management director.

The mayor on Tuesday said during the meeting that they are a bit behind the rest of the country on hiring for the emergency management director position, but said it is not a critical issue at this time.

A property tax increase of 7 cents was also added to the proposed budget, which bumped the current tax from 1.12 to 1.19.

City council members said they don’t plan on making any changes on the proposed budget before the second reading.

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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