For Immediate Release
City Manager Proposes Budget Reductions
City Manager Greg Burris today outlined a a series of recommended budget reductions to address a first-quarter deficit of about $1 million for the City’s new fiscal year.
Burris told the City Council that the first-quarter General Fund budget shortfall totals $1,042,541. The shortfall is linked to a $992,541, or 9.75 percent, decline in sales tax revenue for the first quarter of the City’s fiscal year, along with a reduction of about $50,000, or 6 percent, in the payments in lieu of taxes that City Utilities makes to the City.
Burris said one of his top priorities was to hold public-safety personnel as harmless as possible from the budget reductions because there are currently 31 frozen police positions and 18 frozen fire positions. None of the budget reductions in the Police or Fire departments will affect their staffing levels or increase the risk to public-safety employees on the job.
The City Council is expected to hold first reading at its Oct. 12 meeting on a budget adjustment to reduce actual departmental budgets now rather than making the traditional overall budget adjustment at the end of the fiscal year.
The reductions include:
- First-quarter savings of $388,000 from additional resignations and retirements that weren’t already factored into the FY10 budget.
- Two furlough days will be required for senior managers and supervisors at certain pay grades and above before May 31, 2010. This will affect 158 employees for a savings of about $48,000. While the furloughs will be required for the General Fund employees, Burris said he is recommending that employees in all departments who are at or above the affected pay grades also participate in the furloughs to produce savings in their departments and show solidarity citywide.
Additionally, employees outside of these pay grades can take up to 10 days of voluntary furloughs.
- After-hours meetings will be eliminated in the Busch Building to save an estimated $7,200 on security-service expenses.
- All future out-of-state travel will be frozen except when required for professional certifications, grant-funded programs or for employees who are national or international professional association officeholders.
Departmental budget reductions will save about $606,541. Each department recommended its own reductions in areas such as supplies, equipment, travel, training, membership dues, etc. The departmental budget reductions also include:
- A reorganization of the Planning and Development Department will eliminate four positions effective Nov. 1, 2009. The reorganization includes elimination of the Comprehensive Planning Office with the essential functions of that office transferred to other areas within the department.
- Two additional furlough days voluntarily agreed to by the 10 attorneys in the City Attorney’s office, for a total of four days including the two required days.
- The Police and Fire departments will realize budget savings through reductions in travel, training, equipment, and professional services. The Police reductions include contributing about $15,000 in anticipated revenue from the sale of seized property and the Fire Department will decrease the frequency of employee physicals.
- Health will reduce its General Fund transfer by shifting part of an epidemiologist’s salary to grant funding for the H1N1 prevention efforts and Parks will reduce its transfer by freezing two vacant positions.
- Public Works will reduce its budget by reducing the facility cleaning schedule in municipal buildings, cancelling other maintenance contracts and eliminating spraying for weeds.
For more information, contact: City Manager Greg Burris, 864-1006.