Mexico Beach- Despite many questions and few answers, the Mexico Beach City Council moved forward Wednesday with adopting its tentative millage rate and budget.
They approved a 4.66% millage rate increase, bringing it to 5.184 mils. The council also voted to increase their general fund budget by more than $900,000. City Council Member Tanya Castro was the only one to vote against both.
"There's still so many things in our budget that we haven't worked through in the budget workshops," said Castro.
Two sticking points involve the city's police and fire budgets. The city voted Wednesday to more than double the police department's funding from around $441,000 to more than $978,000. A majority of that will fund a new police station. But Castro questioned where the rest will go.
"What we should be doing is sitting down, understanding the problems, and working to resolve those problems," said Castro.
She said she's also concerned with the city's decision to tentatively cut the fire department's budget by more than half. A portion of the deficit comes from the force's request for around $14,000 in volunteer salaries. The city only budgeted for $7,500.
"Our actions don't really match our words. We just keep marching forward knowing that we have those issues," said Castro.
But Mayor Al Cathey defended his decisions.
"They are not city employees, but it doesn't mean they don't have to be accountable if they want to spend our money," said Cathey.
Council members never specifically discussed the fire department's budget Wednesday, but they are holding another budget workshop next week.