Sioux City budget cuts could come in form of layoffs
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -- The cuts are coming. Tuesday, the City of Sioux City laid out options to balance its budget for fiscal year 2011.
Sioux City City Council members need to cut $1.2 million from next year's budget. That's the minimum amount of money needed, in order to spare residents from a tax increase.
One of the options council members will consider is staff reduction. Thirty-nine full-time equivalent positions have been identified for possible cuts. That could be in the form of a drop in hours for employees, keeping open positions unfilled, and layoffs. Some of the layoffs could come in the fire department.
City officials say these cuts are critical.
"I wouldn't even say it's trimming of the fat. We're at the point now, it's making hard decisions about what the city wants to provide, should provide, needs to provide," said Assistant City Manager Bob Padmore.
Some of the city's "quality of life" amenities could be affected as well. Proposals include giving the IBP Ice Center back to a private entity, closing a swimming pool, and putting off renovations to the downtown library. That's why the council has choices for what it wants to cut, so members can decide what's most important.
"I think it'll be a challenge for the council, but as I've said, we've provided them an excess of what they would need to cut, so it'll allow them to make some choices. They won't be easy choices, but they're choices that can be made," Padmore said.
The City Council will finalize the cuts on February 22. Until then, it'll be holding budget hearings with each department. The police and fire departments, and communications center are up first, on Thursday.