TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) – The Toledo City Council put their differences aside and approved a new budget Tuesday night.
Council members passed the budget two months earlier than the March 31st deadline.
The majority of the focus of the new budget is on safety, and making residents feel better about how they're being protected.
Mayor Mike Bell and City Council rallied for March 6th support for the city's three quarter percent income tax levy before the meeting started.
Inside the council chambers, the mayor was hoping for some yes votes from council members, and received a 12-0 vote to pass the budget with several key amendments.
The approval of the budget also means $349,000 in funds from cuts made by municipal court judges will be accepted, allowing a December police class to start on September 1st with 40 cadets, which is 10 more than originally anticipated.
Councilman Mike Collins had hoped for a July police class, but background checks will not be able to be completed before that time.
"There needs to be money in that operating budget to be able to accomplish what needs to be accomplished and that is bring our level of officers up." said Collins, adding that he will accept a December class in exchange for a promise for 2013.
The City Council also transferred a million dollars from capital improvements in order to make up for losses from the delayed opening of the Hollywood Casino Toledo.
The 11 new red light cameras that will be used to raise funds for recreation programs were also approved, and could be up and running by April.
For the first time in years, the budget will put money into a rainy day fund. There will be $150,000 to fall back on.
"As I tell my kids, every day is not Christmas morning in the Sarantou household. But we had a very good session today, we passed a good budget. It's not perfect but it is a very good budget." said George Sarantou, City Council member.
The budget also includes $100,000 for demolishing more abandoned homes.
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