Savannah City Council votes on $10 million surplus

Savannah City Council votes on $10 million surplus
(Source: WTOC)

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Finding a home for $10 million extra dollars was no easy task in Thursday's Savannah City Council meeting.

Council members floated options and opinions on the matter for hours between council's work session and regular meeting.

The city manager had his recommendations, and for the most part, council agreed on the line items set to receive the surplus funds. There were, however, a few tweaks that ended up being made.

The first was to take the suggested $600,000 for a performance-based pay increase for city employees, and instead, put that into a wage adjustment reserve fund to be distributed after a pay and compensation study is completed.

The other change came after a proposal Mayor Eddie DeLoach made during the work session. Supported by leaders from Savannah-Chatham Public Schools, Georgia Southern and Savannah State, the mayor proposed the city chip in $1 million to the development of a Pre-K partnership with the school district to include three-year-old children.

The money would go toward getting classrooms at East Broad Elementary equipped to handle three and four-year-olds.

There was push-back at both the work session and regular meeting, and one of ideas critics explained he want to make sure anyone benefitting from this program is chipping in, too.

"I think that the project or program deserves to be looked at fully, to see what partners we can truly engage in order to pay," said District 6 Alderman, Tony Thomas.

The $1 million for the Pre-K program will stay in the undesignated reserve until a memorandum of understanding is reached between the city and school system.

This was a first reading of the amendment. Another vote will be held regarding the surplus in two weeks.

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