DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) - Hiring more police officers and firefighters are among the recommendations for the 2013 budget presented Wednesday by the city manager to commissioners.
The $156 million budget is up slightly over this year's. The city is on pace to spend just more than $155 million in 2012.
The biggest budget increase is in the police department, which will get an added $3 million to pay for multiple new recruit classes.
The added police would be helpful for a small safety village that suddenly has some big city problems.
The Life Enrichment Center on North Findlay Street, where the village and a bike shop are located, has dealt with three break-ins in three weeks.
"Kind of sad," says Jeffrey Sorrell with the center. "You're trying to help people yet they come in here and create a mess and cost us money and steal stuff."
Sorrell would welcome more officers in the city.
"I'm sure the police are thin right now and you can only be so many places at one time, so more police officers on the streets would be beneficial," Sorrell says.
Added police and firefighters are the biggest changes to come out of the budget recommendations. Most departments will see little different from 2012.
"We're trying to keep that same level of service to the citizens and the community," says City Manager Tim Riordan.
The budget is an improvement over past years when the city was looking to make cuts, but it remains lower than what the city spent in 1998 and city leaders still have concerns about the impact of the state and federal budgets on Dayton's bottom line.
"It's a continuation kind of budget and a wait and see as we watch what happens on the state and national level," Riordan says.
But for now everyone on down from the big city to the smallest village hopes the new numbers can make a difference.
"The police officers have been good at working with us in getting this issue resolved but it just takes time," Sorrell says.
The recommendations are just the beginning of the budget process.
All departments will present their budgets to city commissioners. The commissioners will then have the final say on the 2013 budget.
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