Proposal would retain firefighters, cut police, fund streets

Published: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 at 10:24 AM.

Funding would come from a combination of budget savings, including no longer asking taxpayers to pay $276,988 for city employee dependent health insurance.

Other funds would come from not providing new funds for the four COPS-funded police officers and implementing a 5 percent increase in water rates.

By city ordinance, water rates should be reviewed annually, but haven't been in 14 years, Helt said.

Ongoing streetmaintenance should include paving 5 miles of city roads annually on a 20-year rotating schedule, but less than a mile has been paved this fiscal year due to funding cuts.

Councilman Shannon Hayes criticized the suggestion that city workers would have to pay for dependents' health insurance.

Helt sympathized with them, but pointed out that many taxpayers have also had to shoulder their own families' insurance costs and shouldn't also have to fund those of city workers' families.

"Did I lose another four positions tonight?" Taylor asked at the end of the meeting.

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