The city’s declining revenue trend means cutting spending for the remainder of 2009. State law requires all municipalities maintain a balanced …
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The city’s declining revenue trend means cutting spending for
the remainder of 2009. State law requires all municipalities
maintain a balanced budget, and more severe cuts may be needed in
2010 and could include a wage freeze for all employees.
The Englewood City Council met in study session May 26,
listening to department director’s recommendations on ways to cut
spending for the remainder of 2009 by almost $1.4 million while
having the least impact on service to residents.
City manager Gary Sears said, while revenues are hard to
predict, the city is looking at a reduction in tax revenues of
about $1.4 million for the remainder of 2009 and flat revenue
collections for 2010. For that reason, Sears is asking all
departments to establish a status quo budget with no increase in
He noted, to achieve the 2010 goal requires cooperation from the
three unions representing the city’s employees — the Englewood
Employees Association, the Englewood Police Benefit Association and
the Englewood Firefighters Association.
However, Sears did say he was encouraged by the response he has
received so far from city employees in regard to the wage freeze as
the union and city prepare to begin contract negotiations.
After almost three hours discussing the issues, councilmembers
agreed with most of the recommendations for cuts in 2009. However,
councilmembers also decided to delay taking up what are expected to
be more painful cuts necessary to keep spending at the 2009 level
Plans are to continue budget discussions at the June 8 city
council study session. The council will have the benefit of the
latest monthly financial report as they decide whether or not to
make the proposed 2009 spending cuts. Councilmembers also said the
June 8 meeting will include at least an initial discussion of
recommendations to balance the 2010 budget.
The June 8 study session is open to the public and will begin at
6 p.m. in the community room located on the second floor of the
Englewood Civic Center, 1000 Englewood Parkway.
The initial focus was the 2009 budget. Finance director Frank
Gryglewicz noted the city’s primary revenue source is sales and use
tax which is almost 79 percent of total revenues. He told the
council that, based on the fact that sales and use tax collections
and revenues in have dropped below forecasts for the last four
months, he had revised the city’s revenue collection downward. The
new forecast has reduced the estimated sales-tax collections by
$1.8 million to about $21.8 million.
District directors listed proposed cuts that will make a
combined spending reduction of about $1.4 million. The proposal
also looks at using $400,000 from reserves to produce a balanced
The option of taking money from reserves could be put aside if
revenues increase, Gryglewicz said.
The majority of suggested cuts for the remainder of 2009 were to
be achieved by reclassifying positions, not filling vacant
positions and reducing spending for materials and equipment.
Additional savings were realized because of factors such as lower
fuel. Most departments also suggested cutting costs by reducing
spending for training and overtime.
Councilmembers asked questions, talked over the recommendations
and agreed to restore two proposed cuts — the $14,000 to keep the
library’s security guard and reducing the fire department’s
proposed cuts to the training budget by $15,000 so additional
firefighters can be sent to paramedic training.
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