Measuring impact of potential budget balancing scenarios

    The city could see major police and fire layoffs if those departments are forced to take a budget cut. That’s according to scenarios released by department heads earlier this week. As the city works toward closing a $1 billion budget gap, the heads of other city departments also unveiled their potential 10, 20 and 30 percent cuts. Those include some changes that wouldn’t directly impact public safety, but could change daily life in the city. WHYY’s Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

    The city could see major police and fire layoffs if those departments are forced to take a budget cut. That’s according to scenarios released by department heads earlier this week. As the city works toward closing a $1 billion budget gap, the heads of other city departments also unveiled their potential 10, 20 and 30 percent cuts. Those include some changes that wouldn’t directly impact public safety, but could change daily life in the city. WHYY’s Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

    [audio: reports20090211budgetbalancing.mp3]

    Transcript:

    Streets Department Commissioner Clarena Tolson says there are several ways to save money, including cutting back street cleaning, and charging trash pick-up fees.

    Tolson: “The other alternatives included changing the service frequency for trash collection. Recycling collection would stay weekly in that scenario. However we would look at trash collection instead of every week, we would be looking at 3 times per month or 2 times per month.”

    Council also heard scenarios for the Free Library that ranged from closing 10 to 30 library branches, and Recreation Department scenarios that could close up to 58 rec centers. Citizens can give their input on how the city should close its budget gap at a series of forums that start Thursday night. WHYY is helping plan those forums.

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