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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – City council members met Wednesday morning to discuss items that were brought up during a public input session Tuesday night.
During their budget work session, council members talked about staff members reviewing service fees because it's too late for any action before approving budget.
Council member Charlie Rivenbark said there's a growing distance between what residents and non-residents pay for services, like parks.
"We can't continue to do this the way we have done," said Rivenbark during Wednesday's workshop. "We've got good stuff. People are using it and they need to pay for it."
Service fees can be changed at any time, so council member Laura Padgett suggests reviewing the process and consider changes for January 1.
Also during the meeting, council members talked about agency funding. Padgett said it is unfair agencies aren't receiving the .50 percent of the general fund they were promised.
Next year's budget is closer to .25 percent, so council approved restoring all agencies to last year's funding, adding roughly $30,000 to the couple dozen groups as a whole.
Initially, the budget called for less money, but councilmembers agreed that organizations like the Boys and Girls Club are essentially a matter of public safety and deserve the extra cash.
But some items that are not ready for any specific amount of dollars include office space and assistants. Councilmembers expressed the need for them to have at least one area to meet with the public outside of the mayor's office, or even an extra person to answer phones.
Another focus centered around public services, like parks. City leaders say that it won't be in this budget, but they will consider charging people living outside the city to use city parks.
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