Fitchburg passes 2018 budget during heated meeting

FITCHBURG (WKOW) -- The Fitchburg Common Council has passed an approximately $20 million 2018 budget, but not without some heated moments 

The Wisconsin State Journal reports two people were kicked out of the meeting for being critical of how the city was giving money to non-profits. Council members decided to put $50,000 in next year's budget for non-profits, and each organization would be capped at $10,000. They can apply for the money through a grant process.

That's much different than how it used to be, where organizations like the Boys and Girls Club were funded at a rate of $50,000 or $25,000. 

Boys and Girls Club CEO Michael Johnson and others had issues with the new plan. To get grant money, organizations will need to provide services to three disadvantaged areas, according to the newspaper's report. Those areas are Verona Road West, Belmar/Renaissance on the Park and North Fish Hatchery Road neighborhoods.

Before council members voted on the plan, the meeting got heated when Mayor Jason Gonzalez ruled two speakers' comments were out of order. He told Kaleem Caire and Nathan Royko Maurer to leave or they'd be removed by police. 

The newspaper reports the budget also includes money for operating the new fire station off Marketplace Drive and all non-union city employees will get a 2-percent cost-of-living raise.

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