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Lynchburg 2019 FY budget doesn't include raises, but no cuts to first responders

City Manager Bonnie Svrcek presents city council with the 2019 FY proposed budget.

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- Lynchburg City Manager Bonnie Svrcek's proposed budget is just over $374 million, which includes flat revenues, more expenses than in 2018, and no pay increases for city employees.

"I want to give our employees and increase, I just don't have the resources to do that without impacting services to our citizens," she said.

The good news is there is no tax increase, and the city will still preserve its police, fire, sheriff, and animal control services.

The proposed budget is a little more a million dollars higher than last year's. All of the city's departments were required to cut two-percent from their budgets and had to make some tough choices, but Svrcek said they didn't have to make all of the cuts.

"Overall, I think we did a really good job at being in alignment with what they wanted us to be in alignment with," said Svrcek.

Lynchburg City Schools could get nearly $750,000 less than it requested, however, that amount is offset by the city funding four new buses and a $2 million increase in state funding.

Yet, no teacher pay raises are on the list.

City officials said it's up to the school division to decide how to spend their allotted money, teachers have said their pay should be higher on the priority list of a limited budget.

"The school system is handcuffed in how it can spend the money. A certain amount of money has to be used for capital improvements, and they have no control over that. A certain amount of money is required for certain special education services," said Karl Loos, president of the Lynchburg Education Association.

The city proposes adding three school resource officers, as well as seven other full time positions, while cutting eight positions, including a deputy sheriff.

City council will have several upcoming work sessions before approving the budget, and they will hold a public hearing at City Hall on April 9.

You can view a copy of the proposed budget here.

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