Budget hearings set

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Public input sought

Share your thoughts at upcoming public hearings as the Marion County Board of County Commissioners moves toward final decisions on next fiscal year’s budget. The budget public hearings are on Thursdays, Sept. 7 and 21, beginning at 7 p.m.

“Marion County’s annual budget touches every part of our community,” said Carl Zalak, III, Chairman of the Marion County Commission. “With this in mind, it is so important that we hear from residents regarding their vision for the budget each year.”

During the public hearings, commissioners will hear comments from the public on the proposed budget and will discuss financial considerations of several county priorities, including the recently approved three-year contract for Marion County Fire Rescue. Additional considerations include the final millage rate, which will be no higher than 3.40 mills.

The recently approved fire rescue contract will last for three years, running through 2020. The agreement with Local 3169 of the International Association of Fire Fighters was the product of extensive negotiations between the county and the union. The contract will take effect on Oct. 1 and will increase the base pay for a majority of the firefighters and single-certified emergency medical services employees.

Those interested in having their thoughts shared with the county commission but who are unable to attend the budget public hearing can connect with the county on social media at www.facebook.com/marioncountyflorida and www.twitter.com/marioncountygov.