Savannah leaders to vote on 2018 budget proposal Thursday

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — From fire fees to funding cuts, the Savannah City Council is set to vote on a controversial spending plan for 2018.

Thursday’s vote will happen after weeks of debate.

The city’s budget proposal is only about 12 pages, but it maps out in great detail how tax dollars will be spent.

Over the past few weeks, city council members held retreats, countless town hall meetings — and for the first time virtual town hall meetings.

Some of them got heated all because of a controversial fee that many Savannah residents told city leaders they simply could not afford.

This budget proposal still includes that $256 fire fee that would fund the fire department and restore 18 firefighter positions.

“I want the fire fee, I want a separate budget for the fire department whatever that budget is and then leave that fund alone,” says Savannah Mayor Eddie Deloach.

“It’s the will of the council.  And, if it passes, we’ll do the best we can to navigate and manage it,” says Savannah Alderman Van Johnson.

Johnson is concerned about several social programs such as Step Up Savannah, Parent University and even the Rape Crisis Center that all could receive funding cuts in this budget.

Council will vote on it during Thursday’s meeting.

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