The Montgomery City Council unanimously approved a more than $242 million budget after several amendments, including a $750,000 allocation to buoy the city’s struggling recycling center. Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed proposed a fiscal year 2021 budget last month that was 6.7% lower than the current budget but avoided layoffs, furloughs, higher health insurance rates or holiday pay cuts to city workers. The city leaned on previous cuts and a higher-than-expected sales tax collections to avoid deeper cutbacks despite the pandemic.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the council allocated an additional $1.835 million for the next fiscal year, money that Finance Director Betty Beville said was expected through a rebound in sales tax revenue in the new year. That includes $900,000 to pay for sanitation service on Saturdays and debris cleanup work that would otherwise have been cut.

RePower South, which runs the city’s $35 million waste and recycling center, had asked the council to consider charging each sanitation customer a $2-per-month fee to cover its losses. Instead, the city approved a one-time payment of $750,000 that Council President Charles Jinright said was meant to help them through the next six months, with the hope that the business model turns around by then.

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Author: Brad Harper, Montgomery Advertiser
Image: Montgomery Advertiser