CANTON — City employees will no longer have to pay for a portion of their healthcare benefits after the aldermen moved to fully-fund the costs in their new budget.

The move will not require a tax increase, as they are spending over $200,000 in savings from costs associated with the multi-purpose arena to fund the difference. The savings will also go toward increased retirement costs.

Previously, employees were paying 25 percent of their health insurance costs.

Ward 3 Alderman Les Penn said the goal of this year’s overall budget was to avoid deficit spending.

“Our ultimate goal was a balanced budget. We don’t want to spend more than we have,” Penn said.

The budget projects total available funds of $9,128,736 with projected revenue of $8,728,736 and a beginning cash balance of $400,000.

Projected expenditures are $9,088,834 with an expected $39,000 left over in available cash.

Penn said they were happy to announce full health care coverage for city employees, up from 75 percent coverage, and $100,000 projected increase in sales tax revenues.

Penn said this was achieved in part with the $212,214 dollars saved with the multi-purpose arena.

“We are not spending any money over there. We have eliminated the multi-purpose arena budget which gave us some money to use in other places like healthcare costs,” he said.

Other hallmarks of this budget include pay raises for the Fire Department, new hires in Parks and Recreation and a $10,000 increase in funds available for overtime payments at the Public Works department.

Penn said he was happy to say that this marks the city’s sixth year without raising taxes.

School mills are 58.25 and the city’s are set at 56.32 mills. The breakdown is 39.89 general, 15.23 for bond retirement and 1.20 for the library.

Attempts to contact Mayor Dr. William Truly were unsuccessful.