Major Cuts Proposed to Clovis Budget

May 11, 2009 7:59:58 PM PDT
The city of Clovis is being forced to cut millions of dollars out of next year's budget.Station One in Clovis was just built. But, it may be closed within the next few months as the city deals with what could potentially be a budget crisis.

The City of Clovis is facing the upcoming budget year with less money and more cuts.

Nathan Magsig said, "We're gonna do what we can, but we'll absolutely make sure our budget is balanced."

Clovis City Council Member, Nathan Magsig says they have to cut five-point-three million dollars from the city's general fund.

That's an eight-and-a-half percent reduction from last year's budget, everything from public safety to recreational services.

"The cuts that we're making are absolutely painful, and we're doing what we can to limit the impact of the reductions of revenues in the city of Clovis," said Magsig.

The proposed cuts include laying off 19 city positions. For the police department, that would mean eliminating 13 officers, and two-and-a-half staff positions.

For the fire department, they may have to let go three firefighters and one staff member. They would also have to eliminate overtime pay, stop responding to low-priority calls and close Station One 90-percent of the time.

Clovis Fire Chief, Rick Bennett said, "My focus is on fire, life and safety in this community and what I'm going to see is a distinct reduction in our ability to provide fire life and safety."

The city is also looking at closing the recreation center, reducing hours at the senior center, and "browning out" city parks. Kathy Millison said, "Which would mean letting the grass die, preserving the trees, but letting the grass die."

Clovis City Manager, Kathy Millison admits some of the proposed cuts seem extreme. But she says, the city's budget problems have been ongoing and at this point, they have few options left.

"It's hard to hear about the types of cuts that we might have to make, but these are the difficult choices the city council has to weigh in on," said Millison.

The city also wants to reduce pay to city workers, and offer early retirement packages. They will preview the budget proposal at Monday's meeting.

The public will have a chance to give their input on June 15th, before the council adopts a final budget by June 30th.

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