Excerpts from the Chicagotribune.com:

The Aurora City Council this week approved a $477 million budget for 2020 that includes new police officers and firefighters, a major increase for the Aurora Public Library and money toward a new Public Works building. The budget passed 11-1 with city staff and most aldermen saying the budget reflects solid financial management by the city.

The overall budget is about 9.3% higher than last year’s $431 million. Some of that is due to almost $35 million carried over from the 2019 budget for projects that did not get finished during the year. Meanwhile, revenues are projected to be $437.3 million, or about 6.4% higher than in 2019.

The general fund, which is the city’s main operating fund, is expected to increase from about $182 million to $195 million, or about 7.1%.  Most of the increase is in three areas: $5.1 million more for police, $4.1 million more for the fire department, and $1.3 million more for innovation and core services.

The city plans to add seven police positions – six patrol officers and a records clerk – and the fire department will add two. There also is more money budgeted for equipment, a direct reaction to the shooting at Henry Pratt Co. in February that killed five Pratt employees and injured five police officers and a Pratt worker.

One of the key expenditures that must come out of the general fund, which is funded largely by property taxes, is a $3.5 million payment into the public safety pension fund. Funding public safety pensions is mandated for local government by the state. It is a situation every municipality in the state faces, as well as the state government itself, Lyons said.

Aldermen will look at the property tax levy to support the budget later this week.

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