Emergency response times expected to increase if city services are cut, Peoria city manager says

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The City of Peoria is facing a budget crisis because of the ongoing pandemic. Now, it’s causing staff to find ways to save millions.

Without quick action, City Manager Patrick Urich said the city will be broke before the end of the year.

The council presented an option that would eliminate 94 positions within the city. That includes public works, firefighters, and police officers. Urich said the biggest challenge is how to show council members what services will no longer be provided.

“How our response times are going to go up, how the fact that we may have fewer detectives in the police department that will be doing the detective work. We may have longer snow routes and may not be able to get into residential streets unless we have a higher amount of snowfall simply because we don’t have the resources any longer to deliver the service the people are accustomed to,” Urich said.

Another option is to offer employees a way to leave voluntarily with incentives. Urich also explored the idea of cutting pay for every worker by 10%. He said he believes it would eliminate the need for layoffs.

Urich said he discussed it with the Union, but said its most likely not an option.

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