City Council members in Lewiston, Maine, previewed the city's 2017-18 budget, in which administrator Ed Barrett proposed an overall increase of 6%. The increase would be the first since 2010, and would cover rising staff and benefit costs, debt service and other expenses, Barrett said.
A bylaw in Calgary, Alberta, banning free-roaming pets and the city's program to cover emergency medical treatment for strays and spaying and neutering fees for pets of low-income owners has earned it the Safe Cats Safe Birds Award from Nature Canada. "Cities across the world, really, are following the Calgary model and figuring out ways to keep pets safe, but also reduce their impact on wildlife generally," said Mayor Naheed Nenshi.
County board members in Eau Claire County, Wis., have voted unanimously to extend paid time-off benefits to part-time employees in an effort to attract qualified applicants for county jobs. "As our economy has improved, that means people who are quality talent can go elsewhere," said Supervisor Brandon Buchanan.
Cullman City Parks and Recreation's inaugural Dinner of First event last May raised $20,000 toward a new park for the Alabama city. The dinner was named by the Alabama Recreation and Parks Association as the Innovative Program or Event of the Year.
Dallas will convert a downtown parking lot into a park thanks to a development agreement with nonprofit Parks for Downtown Dallas, which is donating $16 million to build and endow the park. The city will cover the site remediation, which could cost as much as $1.6 million.
Long Beach, Calif., is teaching residents about water efficiency and drought resistance with demonstration gardens. Residents who drought-proof their yards through the city's Lawn-to-Garden Turf Replacement program can receive up to $3,750, plus $750 more for a drip-irrigation install.
A master plan for a waterfront park has been approved by Wilmington, N.C., officials. The park would include a performance venue, beer gardens and retail space.
The North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund Authority has awarded a grant of nearly $265,000 to Rowan County's Ellis Park for a playground renovation. It is one of 18 projects sharing $3 million in grants.
President Donald Trump's frequent visits to Palm Beach County, Fla., are increasing both tourism and overtime costs at the county sheriff's office. County Commissioner Steven Abrams is urging legislators to amend a law that bars the county from using tourism tax revenue for public safety services.
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