The first of four council briefings on College Station's 2008 budget got underway Monday afternoon.
The council heard the $226 million budget, which includes the addition of seven firefighters, along with communications specialists for first responders and increases in the streets department.
Overall, it's a more than one percent drop from the 2007 plan, in part due to less budgeting for capital improvement projects.
"We still have a lot we're doing in our capital, a lot of things that we got underway this year that we'll be continuing, but in terms of new appropriations, overall the impact debt turns into a slight reduction," said Jeff Kersten, the city's chief financial officer.
Three more hearings and public input is still to come. Final approval is expected September 13.