Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan called a special meeting Wednesday night to address the city council and department heads about his plans to slash the city’s budget for 2013.
About 80 percent of the 2012 budget covers payroll expenses, but Kruzan says some positions may be eliminated.
“Certainly we want to avoid layoffs,” the mayor says. “We do hope to achieve savings through attrition, and through voluntary retirement programs.”
Kruzan says the city has so far been able to offset declining income tax revenues by dipping into its rainy day fund. However, with health care costs increasing at an estimated 13 percent annually, he says service cuts or additional user fees may be needed to cover budget shortfalls.
One proposal given at the meeting would end the city’s trash sticker program and replace it with a fixed fee for all households. City Controller Mike Trexler says it’s part of a budget growing at twice the rate of revenues.
“The overall picture is, that we have the overall revenues grow about 3 percent per year, and expenses grown by about 5-6 [percent]. I don’t see that picture drastically changing in the near future,” Trexler says.
The council will have several months to debate budget-cutting moves prior to formal hearings this fall.