Cuts coming for the City of Middletown

MIDDLETOWN, OH (FOX19) - City officials in Middletown met Thursday night to discuss potential adjustments to the city's current budget and next year's budget. The city council must figure out how to reduce $3.7 million over the next two years.

"We are looking this year, at $900,000 the state is cutting in our current budget," said Russel Carolus, finance director.

The city anticipates a total of $3.7 million less over the next two years from the state. That means city-wide cuts could be coming soon, to some of the city's most vital departments.

"Elimination of fire stations, rounding out those," said Mayor Larry Mulligan. "It may be eliminating patrols on the police side."

Those are options the city will consider. Like most city budgets, police and fire take up most of the city's general fund, therefore those departments will feel the cuts the most.

"It's affecting lives of our employees, it's affecting lives of our citizens because it's going to be affecting service cuts that we are forced to make," said Mulligan.

The city is exploring several options, including outsourcing jobs.

"We need to create an incentive to maximize our assets of our water, our airport, golf course and other things we have in the community," said Joshua Laubach, Ward 3 city council member.  "And I would argue that someone can do that better."

The city council went as far as watching a video about a Georgia city that outsourced all its city services except police and fire, and had success. But the idea met plenty of resistance.

"I cant think of any greater loss of control than this city to hand everything over to an outside, world-wide corporation who then subs it out to companies we have never seen or heard of before," said Daniel Picard, Ward 4 city council member.

No definite reductions have yet been made.

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