Battle Creek’s new budget and millage increase has been approved, but not without some contention.

WWMT says that the fiscal year 2020 budget and the .185 mills increase to the police and fire retirement pension millage was voted on by the Battle Creek City Commission Monday with a 6-3 result; The no votes were Mayor Mark Behnke, Commissioner Chris Simmons, and commissioner Jim Lance.

Simmons questioned whether the millage increase was necessary, as it will raise just $194,000 a year and he thought it would be possible to find that funding by adjusting the already existing budget. He said "It seems like the only direction it goes is floating up, I've never seen it float down."

The fiscal year 2020 budget, which starts next month, is seeing several increases including the General Fund going up $1 million; however, other funds are running deficits, like the Equipment Center Fund running a $2.1 million deficit and the Battle Creek Transit Fund spending $200,000 more than they take in as revenue.

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