Florence making cuts to their 2010 budget

By Kimberly Holmes - bio | email

FLORENCE, KY (FOX19) - The city of Florence is also making major cuts to their already lean budget. Florence City Council called a special meeting on Wednesday to figure out where to trim the fat.

Mayor Diane Whalen said the Council knew they had to amend their 2009-2010 budget when the estimates for their property tax revenues came in this year.

"Our {current} budget was passed based on expected revenue from our real estate taxes," Whalen said. "When Council heard from the public we chose not to take an increase from our real estate taxes."

Whalen said City Council had to figure out how to cut $770,000 dollars from the budget. That's why City Council met Wednesday night to propose a new plan to help make up the difference. The proposed budget includes cuts for several departments including: police, public service, storm sewer projects and the fire department.

"We've cut back a little bit on training," Whalen said. "Nothing that would impact their ability or their certifications to do their jobs, but maybe some of the other training," Whalen said. "We've taken a look at motor fuels. Obviously we're turning cars off and doing the same thing everyone is doing at home."

Fortunately, Whalen said the cuts do not include any lay-offs.

The proposed 2009-2010 budget totals $55,278,575.00.  The adopted 2009-2010 budget totals $53,503,741. Mayor Whalen says don't let the new, larger number fool you. The bump is because of a large project the city has taken on to improve Mall Road. Whalen said the state is going to reimburse Florence $12-million in two installments to do it. But first, Whalen said, Florence has to foot the bill.

"In order to account for that in the budget we do have to take the amount of money they're sending us and show that as a revenue," Whalen said.

City Council still has to vote on those changes.  Mayor Whalen said that should happen by Mid-December.