City Council approves $258 million budget

City councilors unanimously approved the $258 million budget for fiscal 2014, which begins Monday, a 4.4 percent increase from this year. No cuts were made to the budget, which provides increases in nearly every department. “To a large degree, it’s a restoration budget,” said Christopher Walker, spokesman for Mayor Thomas Koch. “In areas we had major cuts, we’re getting to where we were, especially in public safety and education.” The budget will enable the city to hire for several positions, including teachers, police officers, and firefighters. The city will also hire a new energy manager and system technician charged with making buildings more energy-efficient. There was a 49 percent jump in the budget for the Planning Department, which will hire a research assistant and a planner for economic development. The city also increased the snow-removal budget to $1.5 million from $1.25 million.