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City council approves budget

Biggest changes involve staff and service reductions
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The Roseville City Council unanimously approved a final budget Wednesday for the 2011 fiscal year. The two biggest changes involve reducing staff by 36 employees and implementing service reductions to achieve $14.7 million in cuts. The city expects to achieve a balanced budget by January 1, 2011. Staff reductions will occur in the city’s general fund budget, which covers the fire and police departments, parks, libraries and other services for city residents. The city hopes to reduce employees through early retirement incentives, redeployment, voluntary separation and layoffs. “We hope to avoid layoffs,” said Finance Director Russ Branson. He said staff would look at the prospect later this year of instituting furloughs, which would be in addition to the 36 employee cuts. The city currently doesn’t have the right to implement furloughs and would need to first negotiate with labor unions. The second significant budget change will be service reductions, including the closure of the three-person engine company at Fire Station 7, while keeping the four-person truck company operational to save $1.5 million. The city will also make parks maintenance adjustments to save money and reduce library hours. “We’ll still operate libraries at a higher level than most other jurisdictions in this area,” Branson said. ~ Sena Christian ---------- For expanded budget coverage, see Wednesday’s issue of the Press Tribune.