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Troy City Council passes $78 million budget

The City of Troy finally has a budget for the fiscal year ending 2018, and it’s one of the city’s biggest to date.

The total budget comes to over $78 million, more than a 10 percent increase over last year’s budget.

The general fund rose from $29 million last year to $30.8 million this year, but the majority of the rise comes from the utility department. This year’s utility budget is set at $47.3 million compared to just $41 million last year.

The council typically passes a budget in September before the fiscal year begins in October, but Mayor Jason Reeves asked the council to extend the previous budget through January primarily to get figures in from a new utility contract.

The budget keeps most departments level-funded, but Mayor Jason Reeves did point out a few changes.

One of those changes is an increase in payment toward a joint training facility for CGI, Troy University and the city from $325,000 to $500,000. The budget also includes a 2.5 percent step raise for employees and a 1.5 percent cost of living allowance.

The council unanimously approved the budget for the new year.

The council also unanimously approved the ratification of the purchase agreement between the City of Troy and Conecuh Ridge Distillery for the city’s purchase of a $1.6 million piece of property to give to the company.

Reeves explained how the project will proceed from here.

“The company will now have up to six months to do due diligence on the site before beginning on the project,” Reeves said.

The whiskey distillery is the first of its kind in Alabama and was announced to be coming to Troy in September 2017. The city promised to purchase the property for the company and also offered up to another $1.5 million in incentives for locating in the city based on criteria the company meets.

In exchange, the company promised a $13.5 million initial investment into the economy.

The Troy City Council will meet again on January 9 at City Hall. The executive committee is scheduled to meet at 4 p.m. upstairs and the council will convene at 5 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.