ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The Department of Justice and city of Ferguson have resolved the lawsuit over a consent decree to reform the city’s police department and municipal court system.

Mayor James Knowles says resolving the lawsuit is a big step forward.

“We have been committed to the reform process, we have been committed to transparency,” Knowles says. “We are already noticing that people are taking notice of that and we are hoping that going forward…going to be a positive step in the right direction.”

The city council adopted it this week to the DOJ’s satisfaction. However, Knowles warns that full implementation might not be affordable if voters reject the property and sales tax increases on April’s ballot.

“There is a significant systemic deficit in our budget due to falling property values, falling revenues in our community, property tax, sales tax…” Knowles says.

The DOJ demanded reforms after a white Ferguson police officer shot and killed a black, unarmed teenager in August 2014.

Knowles says there are various timetables for the reforms to be implemented, but some of them already have been.

(TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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