City Council approves increase in 2022 budget

The increase will go to previously approved programs as well as new employees.

The Auburn City Council approved an ordinance to increase the 2022 city budget by $20 million during its meeting on Monday, Nov. 15.

Ordinance 6837 increases the 2022 budget to fund previously approved programs and the hiring of four full-time employees and one temporary employee among other things, according to the ordinance.

The changes made by the ordinance will increase the budget by $20 million in the next year, according to a memo sent to the council by Jamie Thomas, Auburn’s financial director.

A majority of the $20 million will be spent on a variety of capital projects such as improvements to the airport, sidewalks and street lights, according to the memo.

The ordinance allocated $479,200 to hire four full-time employees to support the Auburn Police Department’s new body camera program, according to the memo.

Three of the full-time employees will be records clerks for processing public records requests, Thomas said during an Oct. 29 council study session. The city expects an increase in public records requests after the implementation of police body cameras, Thomas said.

An additional prosecutor will also be hired in order to review the body camera footage for criminal cases, City Attorney Kendra Comeau said during the October study session.

“All of the officers that are involved in a criminal case will have body camera footage, so actually all of our prosecutors will have to review all of that footage,” Comeau said. “I’ve estimated that the footage might come in at about 250,000 hours of video camera footage every year from our officers.”

The council was unanimous in their approval of the amendment.