City Council Approves $2.5 Billion Budget

With little fanfare, City Council approved a $2.5 billion budget today for the 2016 fiscal year. It's the city's largest budget ever.

Here are some of the highlights:

-$3 million to fund 1,300 body cameras for the San Antonio Police Department.

-A $23 million increase for road repair and a $10 million increase for sidewalks. Upgrades and repairs for sidewalks, streets and drainage were the items most often listed as the top priority among citizens who attended the city’s forums on the budget.

-A bump in the minimum hourly rate for city workers to $13 per hour. The move was a victory for advocacy groups such as COPS/The Metro Alliance, who had lobbied hard for the rate. Others, such as the Service Employees International Union — Texas, had hoped for a higher jump.

-$500,000 to support Lone Star Rail, a proposed commuter rail line between San Antonio and Austin. The line, which will use existing rails along Interstate 35, is still in the planning and financing phases.

-The city appropriated $500,000 to the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center’s effort to revitalize Lerma’s Nite Club, an iconic West Side conjunto club which had fallen into disrepair.

-The property tax rate will drop by three-quarters of a cent, saving homeowners $6 million a year, about $11 per bill.

-$800,000 for a spay and neuter clinic near Brooks City Base.

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