FY 2010 Budget Under Microscope

The Meridian City Council looked at budget issues during a work session Wednesday.

The new fiscal year starts Oct. 1. Council members and the administration are going through each department budget.

Mayor Cheri Barry and her chief administrative officer say they are looking for ways to trim expenses and spend more wisely, to adjust for decreased revenues. For instance, the CAO says sales tax collections are down 1.45 percent.

"We have positions in our city government that need to probably be eliminated," said CAO Mark McDonald. "We're in a tight budget year this year and we really think that there are some things we can do to enhance the growth of this city but yet not be wasteful in our spending."

"And it may be that we have to realign some of the job positions and put them in other departments," said Barry. "Homeland Security is a very important department to the city of Meridian. And we've got four police officers out there. It may be that we have to look at putting them back in the PD, in the patrolling unit."

The administration said it would like to fund Homeland Security through grants rather than supplementing that budget from local tax dollars.

Currently, there is no raise for city employees in the proposed budget. But Barry said she wants to maintain the number of city workers.

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