WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — The 2022-23 city budget was unanimously approved at Tuesday’s City Council meeting in Winston Salem.

The final budget came out to $627.6 million. Most of it is going toward capital projects. That includes maintenance needs around the city like bridge repairs and improvements to rec centers and parks.

The city also wants to be more a competitive employer. They’re raising salaries for police officers and firefighters to retain and recruit new people.

There are also $6 million set aside to open a job training center. Its purpose will be to train people to do city jobs.

The city is also switching its recycling contract to in-house collection to save over $4 million over 9 years. This means they will need to hire in-house collectors.

All of these changes and improvements will cost money. Residents will see a slight tax increase. The property tax rate would be set at 63.6 cents for every $100 of value for an increase of 2.36 cents.

“We certainly never like to raise taxes, and we don’t want to burden our taxpayers any more than totally necessary…because of these pay adjustments, particularly to our public safety employees, there was necessary to have small adjustments. I think our citizens will understand that and be supportive of improving our pay to our police and firefighters who risk their lives daily for our citizens,” said Winston Salem Mayor Allen Joines

The city’s budget and performance management director says the public safety employees who will be getting raises can expect to see that bump in pay as soon as July.

The recycling changes will start in April of next year.