As the 2020 fiscal year comes to a close, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle introduced a proposed budget for fiscal year 2021.
The 51-page document outlines a $236 million budget that shows revenues equal to expenditures. It also includes $140 million in capital spending through the 1990 and 2014 Capital Improvement Plans.
Personnel made up 70.4 percent of the budget.
The city noted that the pandemic caused a loss of about $15 million in revenue during the latter half of FY 2020.
Huntsville enacted a limited hiring freeze and cut operating budgets by five percent.
One of the highlights of the budget is $46.7 million earmarked for municipal facilities, including a new city hall. Battle told WAAY 31 on Thursday that the amphitheater is also on track.
"We feel pretty good with both of those, the city hall and the amphitheater. Right now we still feel very good about it that we've got the funding in place, that we've got the long-term funding in place for it, that the savings are there for city hall. When we combine everybody and all the offices in one place and quit paying rent in certain place, quit paying higher overhead in this place, I think that we're going to see that the actual cost is going to be much closer than what the initial run was made," Battle said.
The administration also introduced a one percent cost of living increase for city employees. Battle said it was a way of giving something back to the people who helped the city keep going amid the pandemic.
"I think it's very important that we respond to those employees to say thank you for the job that they did. It's not a large COLA (cost of living adjustment), but it's something to say thank you for the job that they did over that pandemic time," Battle said.
The Huntsville City Council will hold a work session on Tuesday, September 15 at 5 p.m. to review the budget in greater detail. The council is expected to vote on it on September 24.
Click here to see the full budget.