Winston-Salem City Council approves budget

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The Winston-Salem City Council approved a $414.8 million budget for 2015-2016.

 The budget includes money for renovations, repairs and updates to city facilities throughout Winston-Salem. About half a million dollars will be allotted to downtown improvement for things like improving cleanliness and safety.

 The city will also add seven additional positions to its staff, including three fire captains, an assistant city attorney and three landfill laborers. Fifty-three million dollars of the budget will go toward updating water, sewer and storm water facilities. Three million will be used to replace some of the public transportation buses.

 The budget also raises the cost taxpayers will have to pay in several areas.

Property tax will go up by 2.5 cents, sewer rates will increase 5 percent and water rates for high-volume customers will increase 9 percent.

The budget will take effect July 1.