The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

February 26, 2014

Review of possible budget cuts delayed

Draft was to show department cuts

DANVILLE — Aldermen were to review a third draft of the city’s proposed 2014-2015 budget Tuesday night with additional cuts as requested by some aldermen to avoid a proposed fire safety fee and/or cuts to the fire division.

But with Mayor Scott Eisenhauer ill Tuesday, City Comptroller Gayle Lewis told members of the city council’s Public Services Committee a third draft budget presentation was postponed to the full city council meeting on March 4.

The presentation was to show how any across-the-board department cuts of 5 percent to 10 percent would affect the whole city and city services.

If the fire and police departments and liability and insurance are pulled out of the budget for any cuts, that leaves only about $7 million to find cuts, Lewis said.

Lewis said talks with department heads will continue today to determine what can be cut from the budget to make up about an $800,000 shortfall.

Ward 1 Alderman Kevin Davis was asking each department head at Tuesday night’s meeting how a 10 percent cut would affect the department.

He heard from each, such as with human relations, public works, police and fire, that it likely could affect personnel, equipment, capital and other city services.

Davis said public safety costs and pensions aren’t going to go away. He thinks the city needs a way to generate more revenue for future years.

The meeting again saw a room full of firefighters and other supporters.

Five people spoke out against any fire department cuts.

Of those, Marti Washington, of James Place, said she’s here today because of the fire department responding to a fire at her home.

“I urge you to find another way …,” she said about making any fire department cuts. “I owe them everything. Thank you, firemen.”

There is no budget proposal to cut any position, Ward 7 Alderman Steve Foster said.

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