Cincinnati budget cuts to be discussed at public hearing - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Cincinnati budget cuts to be discussed at public hearing

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The Cincinnati Budget and Finance Committee is holding public hearings to discuss the city manager's proposed budget.

The first public hearing is Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Duke Energy Center. There will be four others scheduled between now and Dec. 15.

Police and fire layoffs, a trash removal fee and closing 19 city pools are all part of Cincinnati City Manager Milton Dohoney's budget recommendations for 2011-2012.

The general fund budget is $340.7 million in 2011 and $333.2 million in 2012. By law, the budget must be balanced.

Dohoney's recommendations include the layoffs approximately 131 police officers and 144 firefighters. However, recommendations are that all 26 fire stations remain open.

Also recommended is the closure of 19 pools."When placed in a position of having to select among unpopular choices, the decision was made to save more recreation centers over pools because they allow us to reach young people year-round, versus the seasonal outreach of pools," he said.

Other recommendations include a $20.50 fee per household per month for curbside trash pickup.

"The City of Cincinnati's revenues have suffered as a result of the recession's impacts on both companies and individuals who provide the bulk of the funds used to operate government," Dohoney stated in the recommendation.The city charter grants the Mayor 15 days to make changes before presenting it to council. However, Mayor Mark Mallory did not make any changes and immediately sent the recommendations to city council for approval.

"The city continues to face the most difficult budget reality that it has faced over the last two decades," said Mayor Mallory. "I look forward to working with city council to finalize a balanced city budget for 2011 and 2012 that addresses the current fiscal climate while continuing to meet the needs of citizens."

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