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Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008 01:57 am

Fiscal follies

Council inches closer to approving city budget

Untitled Document The city administration handed out a revised fiscal year 2009 budget at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, but some aldermen complained that the newly-crunched numbers weren’t what they had requested. The council is set to meet at 5:15 p.m. tonight (Thursday, Feb. 21) to discuss and approve the budget, but Ward 1 Ald. Frank Edwards doubts that aldermen will make any decisions until at least Tuesday. Edwards has proposed a 5 percent cut of all city personnel — budget line item 1102 — and claims that the adjustment would save Springfield $3.1 million. These funds, Edwards says, would instead be divided up, with $1.7 million sent to ease police and fire pension burdens and  the remaining $1.4 million sent to meet such infrastructure needs as sidewalks and street improvements.
The city’s office of budget and management gave aldermen calculations that were supposed to reflect the discussed cuts, but Edwards says he wasn’t satisfied with what he saw. “It doesn’t make sense with some of they stuff they did,” Edwards says. “It was pretty clear when we gave it to them how we wanted it — we wanted the 1102s cut by 5 percent, but they cut other things that we didn’t expect.”
As a result, he adds, the city administration will most likely need to revise the budget again, and aldermen will require additional time to review the changes. With less than a week to go before the March 1 deadline, Mayor Tim Davlin still hopes that aldermen’s concerns can be addressed tonight as they complete a line-by-line sweep of the revised budget. “I would hope everyone will come with the intention of passing a budget,” Davlin says. Davlin declined to share his opinion of Edwards’ proposal Tuesday, and instead stuck with a “wait-and-see approach.” He says the city will work with whatever the council decides.

Contact Amanda Robert at arobert@illinoistimes.com.
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