ICYMI: Camden City Council approves $167 million budget

Tuesday evening's hearing on Camden's $167 million fiscal 2012 budget drew only five residents. After just 30 minutes, City Council unanimously passed the budget.

The amended budget is about $9 million higher than the initial proposal, introduced in August, but lower than last year's $173 million budget. It also includes a 4 percent increase in the municipal property levy to $23.5 million.

Departments that saw some of the highest increases since the initial budget introduction include the Office of Parks and Open Space and the Health and Human Services Director's Office, both of which had their budgets increased by $400,000.

The additional money for the parks office will go toward retrofitting about 200 streetlights to address vandalism by copper and metal thieves, Finance Director Glynn Jones said.

Health and Human Services will use the additional money for after-school programs. "The mayor wants to have more programs for the youth," Jones said. He said he could not be more specific.

The Police Department budget was adjusted to show that the city will pay $30.1 million in salaries and wages through the end of the fiscal year, June 30, 2012. The city had not budgeted the money earlier because it had hoped to enter an agreement by January with Camden County for a regionalized police force.

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