JACKSONVILLE — City leaders struggled Monday to find fat to cut from a projected $900,000 deficit in their draft budget for the next fiscal year.
The projected deficit exists despite no-frills projected spending City Council members saw in several departments in the city’s $14.46 million draft budget for fiscal 2018. Officials said new costs such as employee raises, insurance price jumps, equipment needs and the recently opened Jacksonville Public Safety Complex were reasons for the projected deficit spending. Still, there’s plenty of time to find cuts, plus the city has money in reserve to make up the difference if necessary, officials said.
The council discussed the budget Monday during its first of three work sessions on the proposed document for the next fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1. The next budget work session is set for July 31.
As part of the work session, the council looked over the overall city General Fund, then reviewed projected spending for some departments, including finance, building, planning, the library and civil service.
“The departments we’ve looked at this evening, it doesn’t look like there’s anything to cut,” said Jimmy Harrell, council member.
Councilman Tony Taylor agreed with Harrell that so far, it appeared reducing the possible deficit next year would be a daunting task.
“Things are not dire, but I’m not seeing a lot of fat in this budget,” Taylor said.
Jarrod Simmons, city administrator, said the department heads have done a good job at managing their budgets and cutting…
click here to read more.