Here’s what happened at last night’s City Council Committee meeting.
Proposed FY 24 Budget
Charlotte City Manager shared its proposed budget for the fiscal year 2024 on Monday night — a total of $3.3 billion.
The revenue-neutral budget prioritizes filling vacancies for city employees, specifically within the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
The proposed budget is a 2.8% increase from FY23, according to City Manager Marcus D. Jones.
It includes a proposed total of $314,588,638 to Charlotte Area Transportation System (CATS) and a $5 million investment toward supporting the city’s Corridors of Opportunity program.
The proposed budget also features incentives for city employees:
- A 6% salary increase for all General Hourly Employees distributed in 3% increases in July and January
- A 4% salary pool for salaried employees
- At least an 8% increase for all police officers and sergeants
- Increases both starting and top pay for Police Officers by 10.5 % by January; The new top pay of a police officer with a four-year degree will be $99,811.
- A 5.5 to 8.0% salary increase for all Public Safety Pay Plan Firefighters
- Adds 25 additional take-home cars for veteran police officers
The proposed budget also offers several initiatives for supporting the Strategic Energy Action Plan by expanding charging infrastructure, adding the first net-zero carbon police station and its first electric semi-truck.
$4.2 million in ARPA funds was recommended toward the HOMES program in partnership with Mecklenburg County to reduce city tax bills by up to 25% for low- to moderate-income households.
West Boulevard and Nations Ford/Arrowwood are proposed to be added as new sites to the Alternatives to Violence program.
$1 million is proposed to continue Charlotte Business Inclusion and add three new positions for implementing programs and increasing vendor outreach.
Thirty-seven positions are proposed to be added to the Unified Development Ordinance.
The budget would also create a Special Assistant to the City Manager position to work on workforce development initiatives.
Former Eastland Mall site updates
Last month, proposals were presented at a committee meeting for what should come of the Eastland Mall site. Proposals included a racquet center, a swimming pool and a Target.
After Monday’s committee meeting, the site will not get a target or pool from the four proposals.
City of Charlotte’s Economic Development Committee instead voted to include a racket sports facility, a soccer field and a 20,000 square-foot outdoor theater called “The Hub.” Prospective tenants include Architect Sports, Charles Johnson Flag Football, Carolina Lacrosse Association and Ultimate Lacrosse.
$50 million has already been invested into the site, and construction has begun. Within the coming months, the city of Charlotte will have “community engagement” on what else should come from the site.
“I have a direct connection to the people that I serve in east Charlotte. I’ve heard their voices. I’ve heard them plead to have a solution that was promised, and I feel that because I live here with them,” said Councilmember Marjorie Molina, who represents District 5, at a press briefing ahead of the committee meeting.
Molina added that she welcomes community stakeholders to reach out and share what they would like to see come from the site.