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Archive for Thursday, May 3, 2007

City manager eyes budget cuts

May 3, 2007

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City Manager David Corliss will be looking at several parts of the city's $58 million general fund budget to find about $1 million worth of cuts.

No decisions on whether or how to cut the budget have been made, but already several key budget issues for 2007 and 2008 have emerged. Here's a look at some:

¢ Corliss has told commissioners that he's reviewing whether open positions in the city need to be filled immediately or could wait until 2008. The city is advertising for about 40 positions - ranging from summer laborers with the Parks and Recreation Department to two assistant utility director positions and an assistant director for the Finance Department.

¢ Corliss said tough decisions need to be made regarding the city's public transit service. He said the city for the past several years has been able to reduce the property tax rate used to support the transit service because it has used fund balance money. The department's fund balance money now is almost depleted.

Without new funding, Corliss said the city bus system won't be able to operate at current levels in 2008. The transit service has proposed a 50-cent increase in fares for the T and a $1 increase for paratransit fares. Those increases would raise about $150,000 - even assuming a 20 percent decrease in ridership - according to transit department estimates. It's uncertain, though, whether the additional fare money would be enough to allow the city to maintain the current level of service without a tax increase.

¢ Commissioner Mike Amyx is suggesting that the city halt talk of a new library and the PLAY project, which is an idea for a new recreation complex. That wouldn't save the city any money this year, but it would remove two big ticket items from consideration in 2008.

"Those are both very good programs, excellent programs," Amyx said. "But with the strain we have on businesses and families right now, this may not be the time to proceed with those big items."

The two projects are part of a 1-cent sales tax proposal that has been floated by Mayor Sue Hack. Hack said she recognized the projects could be challenging, but said she wanted the commission to discuss the sales tax issue during the its June goal-setting session.

Comments

perkins 7 years, 7 months ago

Thank you, Mike Amyx. We don't need another library.

Sigmund 7 years, 7 months ago

Cut the City of Lawrence's budget 5% except for fire and police. Every single department, special interest group and citizen should share the pain of previous commissions mismanagement equally.

cowboy 7 years, 7 months ago

cancel flowers 90,000 raise T fares 1.00 450,000 no consultants 250,000 cancel al travel 100,000 no new non police or fire cars 150,000

Were there already and haven't even begun to look at all the waste in the lawrence city budget

Quit cryin and start cuttin !

monkeyhawk 7 years, 7 months ago

Now that the smoke has settled and the mirrors are reflecting reality, it would be imprudent for Bonnie Lowe, et al, and the Fritzel family to continue their trivial pursuits. It would also be imprudent for the commission to consider their trips to D.C. Time to get out the weed killer instead of using any paid manual labor to deweed the parks, and no taxpayer advertising for downtown during the waterline project. Park some of those T's, and do not allow employees to drive city owned vehicles home. Put some of beneficiaries of city services/dollars to work.

cowboy 7 years, 7 months ago

time to see if any of the managers are worth their salt , its very simple , put the load on every department manager , cut your operations budget by 5%, you decide and you own the process and are responsible for the results. The city manager and commission take their own 5% off programs and admin expenses. This isn't difficult nor should their be much pain , the city needs discipline and to get in the real world like the rest of us !

Adrienne Sanders 7 years, 7 months ago

Quit paying people to do studies about things that are perfectly obvious, how much would that cut?

blackwalnut 7 years, 7 months ago

Make developers pay for the infrastructure their new developments cost. Make them maintain it for a certain number of years after.

Do not destroy a perfectly good library. And take down that misleading chart in the library circulation area that suggests Lawrence spends less per capita on the library than 6 or 7 other Kansas cities, because fails to note that our city library is augmented by HUGE libraries on the KU campus that 30,000 of our residents use as their first library source, and that are available to ANY KANSAS RESIDENT.

Any new retail should be retail that brings NEW BUSINESS to Lawrence and the Wal-Mart #2 does not qualify.

monkeywrench1969 7 years, 7 months ago

Quick question just to put it out there. Does anyone see the remodel of Walmart #1 looking more like a Sam's Club inside now. This is just an educated guess but maybe the reason why Walmart has put so much into the #2 site is they want to change the current Walmart to a Sam's. I am tired of going to KC and Topeka's Sam's

coneflower 7 years, 7 months ago

monkeywrench1969 said: am tired of going to KC and Topeka's Sam's

Seek help for that addiction.

Ever done any research on Costco?

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