JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Thursday marked the first day Jacksonville City Council began digging into the details of the proposed $953 million city budget.
Some finance leaders say the city needs to spend money now to save money later.
Councilman Reginald Brown says that the latest budget proposal doesn't put enough of a priority on the basics, like roads, sidewalks and drainage.
"We have ditches that are not kept up," said Brown. "We have roads that need to be repaved; we have sidewalks that are not accessible."
Brown says the budget in its current form doesn't do enough to protect the character of Jacksonville's older communities.
Typically, the city's bill for road repairs and other maintenance falls between $12 million to $15 million. This year, there is virtually no money in the fund, according to City Council Finance Chair Greg Anderson.
Anderson says funding maintenance will prevent costly problems down the road when something serious develops.
Councilman Brown agrees, saying, "If we do the repairs today and keep up with the maintenance of it, it would keep us from having to replace down the road."
Council members will review capital maintenance projects within each city department over the next month.
A balanced budget must be passed by Oct. 1.