It’s getting down to the wire as the deadline for a finished budget for the city of Zanesville approaches.
Tonight at council, an ordinance was passed allowing city officials to enter into a labor agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police/Ohio Labor Council. That agreement includes a three-year pay increase of one-percent the first year, two-percent the second and three-percent for the final year of the contract.
"With the budget being tight, that’s a concern," said President of Council Dan Vincent. "It’s a concern to council, but it looks very seriously at this and decides what is the best route to go. That if we don’t go this route, things may go to arbitration and not go as well for the city. I think the unions know that and that’s why they’ve agreed to less then what’s been in the past."
Vincent said the budget committee is working diligently to balance the budget.
"We got a big packet with the revised budget that was talked about at the last meeting," said Vincent. "The committee needs time to digest it as well as all of council because it is such a serious issue, we all want to know what’s going on. There will be a meeting this Wednesday, and hopefully they will come to some conclusions and we’ll have that presented to us and move forward."
The budget meeting will be held Wednesday, March 10 at 3 p.m. It is open to the public.
Vincent said he hopes to see the budget passed at the next council meeting in two weeks.
The finalized version of the budget must be in place by March 31.