City Manager Sterling Cheatham presented the Recommended Budget for fiscal year 2009-2010 to City Council at their meeting on May 5.
Despite declining revenues, the city’s recommended budget for next year does not include a tax increase or employee layoffs. The budget, presented to City Council on Tuesday, includes a combination of cost‐saving strategies as part of an effort to bridge a shortfall of more than $6.6 million. The $6.6 million shortfall is on top of the reductions already taken in city departments, bringing the total shortfall to more than $10 million.
The recommended budget maintains funding for core services, but also includes reductions in capital projects and the elimination of vacant 36 positions. These adjustments will not affect core services, but less essential programs are reduced. While there are no furloughs or take home pay reductions for staff, there is a one‐year reduction to the city’s contribution to employee retirement funds.
City Manager Sterling Cheatham says the proposed budget is “bare bones” and any additional reductions next year will likely impact vital services to citizens. “I am proud of city staff for making the cuts necessary to balance this budget. Because of the number of positions eliminated, we will be taking a hard look at what we do and how we do it in the coming months,” Cheatham said.
Cheatham said the city will also continue to look at ways to increase revenues, including voluntary annexations, new economic stimulus opportunities such as the convention center and the northern downtown development, restructuring fees and pursuing federal and state stimulus funds.
Council will hold a public hearing on the budget at their May 19 Council Meeting at City Hall which is located at 102 N. Third Street. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. The public hearing will be followed by a budget work session on May 21. Council will then vote on the budget (first reading only) on June 2, and will take the final vote on the budget at their June 16 Council Meeting.
The new budget must be adopted and in place by July 1, 2009.
Click here to view the budget summary.
Click here to view the City Manager's presentation of the recommended budget to City Council.
Click here to visit the city's Budget web page to view the entire FY 09-10 Recommended Budget.