The Bowling Green City Commission unanimously approved the first reading of a new budget for the next fiscal year at their meeting last night. The new budget calls for a 43-percent increase of $22.7 million over last year's budget, bringing the total budget for the 2003/2004 fiscal year to $77.25 million.
Between $5-6 million of the new money will come from a .5-percent hike in the occupational tax approved by the commission earlier in the year. The rest of the new revenue will come from federal and state grants.
New spending will include:
"The budget itself is up quite a bit, probably the largest single jump in recent history for that budget, but it's things that we had been planning and had been discussing with the city commission for quite some time," said Davis Cooper, the city's chief financial officer. Cooper also said projections for the next three to five years place the city in good financial standing for the near future.
The City Commission will hold a special meeting on June 24 at 3 p.m. to pass a second reading of the budget, which will go into effect on July 1.