PERRYSBURG (WTOL) - The City of Perrysburg officially approved their budget for 2019, but the vote didn’t come without discussion and debate on Tuesday night.
Perrysburg’s $27 million operating budget passed five to one.
"Just making sure that we're using taxpayer dollars prudently and wisely and working with council to make sure that things are done correctly, " said Perrysburg Mayor Tom Mackin.
However, one council member voted no on the budget because she felt that’s what residents deserved.
"They have to answer to the citizens of Perrysburg and I can say that I can obviously sleep at night knowing that I am doing the best I can to represent the citizens of Perrysburg, " said Deborah Born, a member of Perrysburg City Council.
While the budget has outlined more than $9.5 million for police and fire, Born wanted to see more for new equipment and personnel. That’s something Mayor Mackin says they can address as needed in the future when the department heads tell them it is needed.
“We want to make sure that everything is safe and that everything is working well,” said Mayor Mackin. “But we think that this is a process and I think that most of council agrees with that process.”
Council’s approved budget also allows the city to spend $80,000 for a study to address their downtown ADA compliance. The issue was brought to their attention by the Ability Center along with to people like Tenesha who needs a wheelchair and has been unable to enter certain Downtown Perrysburg businesses.
“I’ve had business owners in the area offer to carry me into their business, just like it’s no big deal,” said Tenesha Ulrich, a Bowling Green resident with the United Spinal Association of Northwest Ohio. “But it’s a big deal. I want to be able to go into the entrances just like everybody else. I feel like I don’t want to be segregated.”
Deborah Born again spoke out at Tuesday’s meeting saying she feels this is a tool being used to modernize the downtown. The mayor said that’s not the case, instead they want to do this right and consistent to the current historic nature of their downtown.
"We thought this was a real opportunity to be a welcoming community, " said Mayor Tom Mackin.
The council also approved funds to connect some of their parks to the river something they feel has been asked of them time and time again.
Fellow council members opposed Deborah Born’s assessments of the budget and believe this is what’s best for the future.