Charlottesville city councilors are meeting Thursday night to talk dollars and cents. They are working on the budget, with a focus on capital improvements and school funding.
Councilors are working through the capital improvements portion of the budget, taking up $16.5 million in proposed projects for the upcoming fiscal year.
Big-ticket items include $1.56 million for the Charlottesville Housing Fund, $95,000 to parkland acquisition, and $285,000 for new sidewalks. And $2.1 million will help redevelop the city's corridors including West Main and Martha Jefferson neighborhoods among other projects.
Councilors say budget time is always challenging.
"This is taxpayer money we're talking about and we have to earn it before the city can spend it. And I'm going to be as prudent as possible,” said Councilor Bob Fenwick.
School leaders are also participating in the discussion. Right now the division is facing a $262,000 funding gap. The proposed $137.5 million budget keeps the real estate tax rate the same, at 95 cents per $100 of assessed value.
Council will hold its first public hearing on the tax levy and budget March 17. Council will formally adopt the budget April 11.