By Ashley Rader
The city’s budget discussion turned from questions of red and black ink to one of red, white and blue paint Tuesday as City Council took its first official look at the 2013-2014 budget.
The $86,454,805 budget proposal includes $441,838 in capital improvements for the city’s service needs. It has a proposed general fund of $15,125,844 – a net increase of the general fund of $465,760.
City Manager Jerome Kitchens said most of the increase came from a capital outlay note for the capital improvements in the city.
But questions about downtown street lines added color to the discussion.
Council members were unable to reach agreement on an appropriation for the 4th of July parade. Councilman Bob Cable had asked for $10,000 to host the parade and pre-parade festivities.
One question was the cost of returning the red, white and blue lines to East Elk Avenue for the parade. Councilman Sam Shipley and Cable disagreed about the legality of the lines.
Shipley was also concerned over safety aspects of having multi-colored lines, and said he thought it was disrespectful to drive over the flag’s colors. Cable said the lines were legal and that veterans were in support of the lines.
Kitchens said Cable should first focus on his budget for the parade and when he found out how much he would receive then the city could work on finding out how much the temporary lines would cost.