Brunswick city commissioners unanimously approved a $15.6 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year Wednesday during a special called meeting.

City manager Regina McDuffie said the proposed budget reflects a 7.5 percent reduction compared to last year’s actual revenue and expenditures. The budget required the city to take $770,000 from the fund balance, she said.

The city’s new fiscal year begins July 1.

“We feel like it’s a sound budget for the operation of this city,” she said.

McDuffie showed a printout of the budget during the online meeting complete with pie charts breaking down the budget and service areas of the city. The printout also included 80 pages of line item expenditures.

The biggest expense is the $10.8 million in funding for the 197 employee positions.

Before the vote, Mayor Cornell Harvey acknowledged the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the budget.

“It’s a lean budget. It’s tight, but we can make it,” he said.

The one thing missing from the budget is employee raises, but McDuffie said plans to address that issue are ongoing and there should be a plan announced in the next month or so.

At the beginning of the meeting, commissioner Johnny Cason added an item to the agenda asking about hazard pay for some city workers who worked when stay-at-home orders were in place.

Commissioners voted to provide $58,000 for the city’s public safety and public works employees who worked from March 24 through April 30. McDuffie said the average check, paid in a lump sum, will be $448 per worker.

“They came to the rescue without a doubt,” she said. “Now they are getting the recognition.”

It’s possible the checks will be distributed by the end of the week, city finance director Kathy Mills said.

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