Council meeting to discuss budget; police and fire furloughs possible

Posted by Trina Edwards - email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The big debate over how to save money in the city of Cincinnati continues Monday.

On the table is mandatory time off for every department, including police and fire.

Council meets at 1 p.m., and on the agenda is how to cut $20 million from the budget for 2009.

The hot-button issue is furloughs. City manager Milton Dohoney has a plan that forces city workers to take unpaid time off - six days this year and 10 next year, and the plan includes police officers and firefighters.

Having emergency workers off the streets isn't sitting well with some city council members. And the plan would have to be approved by unions.

Councilwoman Laketa Cole is reported as saying if they refuse, the police and fire departments will have to find another way to reduce their payroll.

This would save $2.5 million in addition to the $2 million the departments are already cutting in operational costs.

The council had this weekend to think about the proposals. When they come together later today, they'll try to hammer out a final plan.