North Miami - NMB

North Miami council tentatively approves 2014-15 budget

North Miami tentatively approved an amended budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year at its first budget hearing Wednesday night.

The City Council voted unanimously to approve the budget with an amendment to take a portion of $300,000 that was budgeted for maintenance of the Biscayne Landing site and to use $50,000 of it to purchase books for the city’s library. Councilman Scott Galvin also requested an additional $100,000 for outside legal counsel.

The budget also reduces the amount of city furlough days from six to three and allocates about $200,000 for a potential forensic audit. The budget does not include any other major cuts in staff or funding for city departments or services.

Council members asked staff to consider a greeter or public service aide to give information to residents and monitor the City Hall and Museum of Contemporary Art area.

“Instead of spending $150,000 on a security company for one man sitting at a desk downstairs, I’d rather spend 30, 40 thousand dollars on an aide to be walking the entire municipal area,” Councilwoman Carol Keys said.

The council also voted on multiple development items at its meeting Tuesday night, including changing an allocation from the state revolving loan program to use about $5million for water meter replacements.

The council also voted, on first reading, to approve two modifications to its code of ordinances.

The first was a vote to remove the city’s ordinance banning pit bulls in the city. The item was sponsored by Galvin who said the city should not have passed the law in 2008 as there was already a statewide law that prohibited municipalities from passing similar legislation after 1990. The dogs are also banned in the city based on a Miami-Dade County ordinance that passed in 1989.

“I brought this forward tonight just so we could take it off of our own books,” Galvin said.

The other change was moving an ordinance dealing with burglar alarms in the city from the nuisances section of the city’s charter, which includes city law pertaining to weeds and noise control, to the section dealing with offenses like vandalism and sexual crimes.

Both items will be voted on again at a later meeting.

The next budget hearing will take place at 6 p.m. Sept. 22 at North Miami City Hall, 776 NE 125th St. The next City Council meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Sept. 23.