Budget Cuts Coming for Meridian

Cuts are coming in Meridian's budget. During the Meridian City Council's first meeting of 2010, Mayor Cheri Barry said that's the reality. Just how much is still unknown.

Chief administrative officer mark McDonald says there could be an across the board cut for departments for as much as 5%.

"As long as the revenues continue to decline, our expenditures are going to have to decline," McDonald.

"Our sales tax revenue is continuously going down," said Barry. "We have another week before our November figures will come in, and we're hoping that they're going to be a little bit higher. But we just don't know yet. So, we've got to prepare for the worst and plan for the best."

Although Barry says a 5% across the board cut for departments is possible, she says its still not a done deal. However, she says what is for sure is that some cuts are coming.

"Being realistic, you know that there are some departments like parks and recreation, maybe the fire department, where 5% is just going to really put them in a tight," said McDonald. "So, some may give 3%. Some may give 6%, depending on where those revenues are."

"Just looking at ways that we can save the taxpayers without having to do away with our job positions, but that would be our next stop, alleviating jobs, and we hope we don't have to get to that point," Barry said.

Within the next two months Barry is expected to make her recommendation for cuts to the city council. It's ultimately up to the council to decide how much in cuts, or even if any are made.

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