June 19, 2019 Atlanta- A firefighters from Atlanta Fire Rescue approach the scene of a two-house fire that resulted in one injury on the 600 block of James P. Brawley in Atlanta a little after 5 a.m. on Wednesday, June 19, 2019. Firefighters arrived to find a significant fire in the rear of a vacant home, according to Atlanta Fire Rescue Battalion Chief, Jason Wozniak. The fire spread quickly to an occupied adjacent home to the left of the burning vacant house. "We had to pull out of the main fire building and go defensive to put out the main body of fire," Wozniak said. Initial reports of a burn victim at the scene were unconfirmed, but a victim later admitted himself at Grady hospital said Atlanta Fire Rescue Spokesperson Sgt. Cortez Stafford. It was not known whether the victim came from the vacant or occupied structure. The fire is under investigation. CHRISTINA MATACOTTA/CHRISTINA.MATACOTTA@AJC.COM
Photo: Christina Matacotta
Photo: Christina Matacotta

Atlanta’s $677M budget includes raises for firefighters, 911 operators

Atlanta residents won’t see an increase in their property tax rate this year under the city’s $667 million budget, which was unanimously passed by City Council last week.

Also included in the fiscal year 2019-2020 budget were funds for senior services, an independent compliance office, and the city’s first transportation department, city officials announced. The budget was passed at the June 17 council meeting.

“As always, the budget represents a substantive investment in service areas that directly impact the quality of life for citizens of Atlanta, and we look forward to continually serving the needs of our city,” City Council President Felicia Moore said in a statement.

City residents may still see an increase in their property tax bills because the bills include county and school taxes, and because rising home values may also trigger an increase.

Next year’s budget also will include money for a 3.1 percent pay increase for Atlanta fire personnel and 911 dispatchers. Both salary increases will cost the city $1.55 million. Additionally, $150,000 will go toward senior services.

The city also increased the minimum wage of its employees to $15 an hour – more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25. Georgia’s minimum wage is $5.15. The increase was a part of former Mayor Kasim Reed’s efforts to gradually increase the minimum wage over two years.

City Council’s budget designated $800,000 to fund the city’s independent compliance office, which was created in March to enforce city codes and other laws. Another $750,000 was allocated to start the city’s first transportation department, which will is expected to be fully functioning in 18 months.


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