The Oro Valley Town Council last Wednesday voted unanimously to cap the fiscal 2009 budget at $204 million.

With the ceiling in place, the council can pursue budget decreases but won’t spend more.

The tentative plan includes $109.3 million for capital improvements.

Nearly half of that total — $44.7 million — would go to the Naranja Town Site park. That plan hinges on voters approving a bond on the November ballot.

Another big-ticket improvement item is the town’s Municipal Operations Center under construction in Ranch Vistoso.

The project has a $30.4 million price tag in fiscal 2009.

The remainder of the capital budget will be spent on roadway improvement projects.

Other expenses include $26.3 million for personnel. That’s a $1.4 million increase from the 2008 fiscal year.

Town employees will receive a 1.5 percent cost-of-living raise and be eligible for up to 4 percent pay increases based on performance.

Eligible police department employees will receive annual step raises of up to 5 percent.

More than two-thirds of the department is entitled to the pay hikes.  

The town will give $383,000 to outside agencies — mostly nonprofit groups, such as the Greater Oro Valley Arts Council and Community Food Bank.

The council plans to revisit the budget in study sessions and vote on a final spending plan on Wednesday, July 16.

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