Troy Mayor Patrick Madden released his 2020 budget proposal on Thursday, which included a 3.4 percent tax increase. The mayor says that increase is to fulfill mandated obligations like labor contracts and debt payments.
Madden's budget adds funding for parks, code enforcement, and public safety — including new turnout gear for the Troy fire department. That’s what firefighters wear to each call.
In May, they responded to two pretty bad fires within hours, including one at Alpha Lanes. That created a health hazard, as firefighters were stuck wearing their same dirty gear to both calls. That can increase the chance of being exposed to harmful carcinogens.
"That's why we do what we do. We go out to help them when they're having issues in their own lives. We feel slighted when it's not taken in our own lives while were working," said Eric Wisher, Troy Uniformed Firefighter president.
So firefighters have been asking for this funding to buy a second set for members, meaning they would always have a clean set. Other things included in the budget are sidewalk repairs, a tree removal program, and the demolition of some blighted properties.
The proposed budget comes with a tax increase that is an average of about $78 per household.
Madden says the proposed budget will promote economic growth in the city, but City Council President Carmella Mantello says property taxes, garbage fees, and bulk rate fees already take over $6 million per year out of taxpayers' pockets.
There will be a number of public meetings, but the city council will have to finalize the budget on or before December 1.