The Montpelier City Council approved an amended general fund budget of $11,860,353 for FY2025 on a voice vote at its regular meeting, Wednesday, Jan. 24. Finance Director Sarah LaCroix calculated that the increase of 3.91% in the city’s budget means property owners will face an increase of 12.5% when the already approved school budget is included in tax bills. LaCroix gave context to the upcoming tax bills property owners will be seeing, based on the average $370,000 home value (under the new appraisal). The breakdown of the $930 in additional taxes on the average home includes $124 for the city general fund, $10 for the combined ballot items of the Kellogg-Hubbard Library and Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice, and the substantial $795 school budget portion. The proposed budget will be presented to voters on the March 5 Town Meeting ballot for their approval. A summary of the proposed budget and more detailed budget information will be available on the city website on Tuesday, Jan. 30, according to LaCroix. The final budget review by the council included protecting a previous decision to restore one $88,000 fire department position by making alternate cuts to the budget originally presented by City Manager Bill Fraser. Those cuts included eliminating a $50,000 line item for the Housing Trust Fund and reducing the line item for Overtime by $33,000. The council also removed a $3,000 item for publishing a city column in the Times Argus.Although several organizations and individuals advocated for the restoration of other programs and services during the public hearings on the budget, none were successful in achieving reinstatement, or even a supportive motion from the council. Those included the cemetery commission, MyRide, and the AmeriCorp and Youth Conservation Corps programs serving the parks, and for advertising ( “City Page”) in The Bridge. While it is legally possible for the Cemetery Commission to petition for its own line item on the budget, time for printing the ballot is likely too short for them to take that course.