The Flint City Council meets virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Flint, MI–In a special meeting Monday night, the Flint City Council voted to approve budget amendments totaling more than half a million dollars just a couple days before the beginning of the new fiscal year. 

Amendments to the budget were necessary in order to balance it and “provide legal authorization for the city’s spending.” 

“It’s something that needs to be done so that when the auditors come, there won’t be an audit finding..that things weren’t balanced,” said City Treasurer Amanda Trujillo who answered questions regarding the budget in the absence of Mayor Sheldon Neeley.

 She said “this will balance us out for the year.”

The amendments, which total $675,000, included adding $440,000 to the General Fund, $215,000 to the Public Safety fund, $15,000 to the Rubbish fund and $5,000 to the Building Inspection Fund.

The General Fund includes expenditures such as $160,000 for purchasing equipment for the fire department and $80,000 in customer service fees absorbed by the city to encourage residents to pay their water bills online

There was also money moved back into the General Fund including $200,000 from the Office of the Fire Chief’s salaries, wages and fringes.

Trujillo said that amount had been put in the Office of the Fire Chief by mistake which was why it was removed, but she didn’t know which departments the money was moved to. 

Councilman Eric Mays voiced concerns about voting on the budget.

“This council voted not to have committee meetings, they voted not to get into the details. Now this stuff is here before us for final action, we haven’t properly vetted it, and that’s been going on for a while” he said. “I don’t know if all the right players are here”

The vote was 6-1 with an abstention from Mays.

Amy Diaz is a journalist hailing from St. Petersburg, FL. She has written for multiple local newspapers in her hometown before becoming a full-time reporter for Flint Beat. When she’s not writing you...