Up & Coming Weekly

June 21, 2022

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 9 of 28

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM JUNE 22 - 28, 2022 UCW 9 Fayetteville council approves budget without tax or fee increases by BEN SESSOMS NEWS Fayetteville has a new budget for fiscal year 2023. e City Council unanimously approved the budget Monday night, June 13, forging ahead with little dis- agreement over Fayetteville's finan- cial planning for the next year. e property tax rate will stay the same at 49.95 cents per $100 of prop- erty valuation. e city's solid waste fee will remain at an annual rate of $225 per single-family residential unit. City officials previously consid- ered increasing the trash fee several months ago. e final value of the approved budget is more than $249 million, a slight increase from the slightly more than $248 million initial proposal introduced to council members last month. Public comments on city vision While no one spoke at the public hearing on the budget ahead of the council vote, speakers at Monday's general public comment period of the council meeting addressed the vision of city government, urging the coun- cil to better address systemic racism and inequality in Fayetteville. Several speakers addressed gun violence and police brutality, par- ticularly an incident in January when Jeffrey Hash, an off-duty Cumberland County sheriff 's deputy, shot and killed Jason Walker, an unarmed Black man. e N.C. Conference of District At- torneys decided in April not to press charges against Hash, arguing that the incident was a case of self-de- fense under North Carolina law. "is council should be champion- ing economic justice, racial justice, equity and health care and inde- pendent oversight of the Fayetteville Police Department," said Shaun McMillan, co-founder of Fayetteville Police Accountability Community Task Force, during the public hearing. "e majority of you should be forging ahead on policy that boldly and unapologetically dismantles the systemic faults that perpetuate inequality in your city. We need ac- countability, transparency, justice, policy and change." Changes to budget After the budget was presented in late May, the City Council met three times to discuss and make altera- tions. e city added $865,000 to the gen- eral fund, appropriated from various other parts of the budget. e added money will increase funding for at-risk youth programs, workforce initiatives, community beautification programs and resur- facing of the walking trail at Lake Rim Park. It will also add about $500,000 in increased payment to temporary, seasonal workers, increasing their minimum wage to $15 an hour. While there were some initial disagreements about this change, the council ultimately approved it unani- mously. BEN SESSOMS, Carolina Public Press. COMMENTS? Editor@upand- comingweekly.com 910-484-6200. Fayetteville City Hall. (Photo by Melissa Sue Gerrits , Carolina Public Press)

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