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Cincinnati City Council passes budget, sails into summer break

Published: Jun. 23, 2021 at 5:36 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (Cincinnati Enquirer) - Cincinnati City Council unanimously passed the 2022 budget Wednesday, a budget that bolsters the safety forces with police and fire recruit classes, fully funds the Citizens Complaint Authority and avoids layoffs.

Cincinnati City Council unanimously passed the 2022 budget Wednesday, a budget that bolsters the safety forces with police and fire recruit classes, fully funds the Citizens Complaint Authority and avoids layoffs, our media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer report.

“We worked hard,” said Cincinnati City Councilman David Mann, chairman of council’s budget and finance committee. “Given the year we have been through I’m grateful we’re not laying people off.”

City Manager Paula Boggs Muething’s proposed operating budget amounts to $461 million for fiscal year 2022, up almost 11% from this year’s $416 million.

It’s buoyed with $67.5 million in federal stimulus money.

The capital budget was approved at $310.2 million, without $1 million in requested funding for preservation of the 126-year-old bell tower at First Lutheran Church on Race Street in Over-the-Rhine. Council members pledged to help the project with $500,000 in leftover 2021 budget money, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

The budget includes a 5% raise for the city manager, bringing her annual salary to $265,130. The item passed with an amendment guaranteeing Boggs Muething would get a review in the coming months. The Enquirer raised the issue earlier this week, noting city law required a review before any raise.

Cincinnati City Council breaks for the rest of summer now, aside from a smattering of meetings in early August. Members earn about $60,000 a year.

The 2022 will be the last budget under Mayor John Cranley, who is prevented by term limits from running for election again. He praised city employees for helping hash out the budget and noted this is his 17th budget when taking into consideration his time on city council and as mayor.

Council as part of the budget process also approved five years of water rate increases. It starts with a 3.75% water rate increase next year, followed by a 5.55% increase for each of the following four years.

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