The Oak Ridge City Council has approved a budget that does not raise the property tax rate in the fiscal year that starts July 1.
The budget provides $50,000 more for the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce than Oak Ridge City Manager Mark Watson had requested, and it gives city employees a 1 percent pay raise.
Council members deferred a request from the Oak Ridge Board of Education to match $50,000 in spending for one of two new school resource officers at Jefferson and Robertsville middle schools. City officials estimated the cost per SRO is about double the school system’s request, or more than $100,000 per year per officer, when the cost of a police car is included.
The budget would leave the property tax rate unchanged at $2.39 per $100 of assessed value. It will be the sixth year without a rate change.
The budget, which was approved 6-1, includes about $20.2 million in general fund municipal expenditures, an increase of roughly $768,000 over the current fiscal year.
The city’s transfer to the Oak Ridge Schools would stay at the current level of about $13.9 million. Oak Ridge provides about 28 percent of the school system’s funding.
The municipal budget cuts funding for the Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau from $410,000 to $300,000.
Watson had proposed spending $125,000 on Chamber-related expenses such as recruiting trips, reserving $25,000, and using $55,000 for memberships in economic development organizations.
But in a recent special meeting, Council members agreed to increase the Chamber spending by $50,000.
More information will be added as it becomes available.