Photo: Indiana Landmarks (Flickr)
Greenwood‘s new Mayor Mark Myers says the city is in tougher financial straits than previously thought. Myers gave his first state of the city address Tuesday. He has been on the job for about a month.
Myers says they have discovered that the city‘s $1.9 million deficit this year is actually $4.2 million. Myers says contributing factors include $1 million in underfunding for healthcare benefits for about 215 city workers and the city sanitation department is $1 million in the red, among other pressing issues.
“We spent so much money on healthcare. We are now shopping new companies.our healthcare is now open to bid. We‘ve got four different companies looking at it,” he says. “We‘re looking at saving anywhere between three and five hundred thousand dollars this year.”
Myers is proposing a 10-percent increase in sewer user fees for 2012 and again 2013. Myers says Greenwood is among the bottom third of localities when it comes to utility pricing. He is also proposing that the city form a federally-mandated storm water utility to better manage stormwater services.
In the meantime, the city is planning to move its offices into the old downtown bank building. He says the move is part of the city‘s plan to redevelop and revitalize downtown Greenwood.
The mayor says he wants to makeover storefront facades in old downtown Greenwood and make the buildings suitable for new businesses. The mayor‘s plans still need the approval of Greenwood City Council.