A proposed $5 million city budget is slated for a final public hearing July 18 with a bottom line up $48,000 from last year, or less than 1 percent.

City officials anticipate more revenue in the coming year with large increases in local/state Municipal Revenue Sharing (up 7.8 percent to $411,000) and ambulance fees (up 12.8 percent to $1,224,000), which were increased July 5 based on rates charged in other communities.

Costs are also expected to rise, with major increases coming from the city manager's office (up 9 percent to $260,489), employee benefits (up 7.2 percent to $1,377,795), the Police Department (up 5.8 percent to $1,130,261) and municipal insurance (up 9.2 percent to $315,496) due in part to an increase in worker's compensation rates.

The city would spend 37 percent less for General Assistance in the coming year as a correction for a spending spree in 2016 that caused the state to freeze and ultimately deny some reimbursement. The budget for GA administration, however, would increase 26.5 percent to $35,145.

While the city's share of school funding has not yet been released by the state, City Manager Joe Slocum said the total increase to Belfast property tax bills, which include school and county government expenses, could remain under 1 percent.

A public hearing on the draft budget will be held July 18, at 7 p.m., in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 131 Church St.