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County Board set to adopt 2014 County budget on Tuesday

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Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors

Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — The Milwaukee County Board on Tuesday, November 12th is set to adopt the County’s 2014 budget.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele unveiled his budget proposal back in September — and it has stirred a bit of controversy — particularly between Abele and Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.

Abele’s 2014 budget is a $1.3 billion proposal.

“My proposed budget doesn`t include a tax increase or rely heavily on fee hikes,” Abele said.

Abele says the County’s deficit currently stands at $15 million — down from a projected $86 million three years ago. A significant portion of Abele’s budget concerns public safety. $72 million is allotted for the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office.

“Under this plan, the Sheriff`s Office will have the largest staff dedicated to freeway patrols since 2004,” Abele said.

The County will also fund a Milwaukee Police Department program known as ShotSpotter, to help detect gunfire on city streets. That is a sticking point with some County supervisors.

The budget also includes a two percent raise for workers, with increases in healthcare costs.

“No furloughs.  I`d have to get back to you on what the overall staff change is.  It`s not significant though,” Abele said.

Retirees like Kurt Zunker worry Abele’s plan means more money out of their pockets.

“We don`t get a two percent raise.  When they raise our health insurance costs it comes out of our pockets.  It forces many former employees into situations of poverty,” Zunker said.

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