More cuts on the way for River City

Local News

It looks like more cuts are on the way to the city of Peoria as WMBD has obtained a letter the City Manager sent to employees Tuesday before a scheduled City Council meeting.

City Manager Patrick Urich indicates the city will need to trim a significant amount of expenditures to match its current revenue, stemming from a combination of factors including the states budget as well as decreasing sales tax dollars.

The current financial plan includes the implementation of 88 hours of furloughs with the exception of sworn, non-command police, fire and the entire emergency communications staff. Beginning at the end of July, City Hall would be closed on Mondays every other week through December.

“These are much more serious discussion than we’re having and I don’t see in these plans where we’re structurally addressing anything, we’re just plugging holes,” said At-Large Councilman Zach Oyler. “So we really need to start having some tough conversations.

Public Works staff would operate with a rolling layoff process where a portion of the staff would be laid off for a week at a time. The imposition of 88 hours of furloughs would save the city $617,000.

During furlough hours, employees are not allowed to work, answer emails, return phone calls or come into the office.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Councilwoman Denise Moore said, “That’s gonna be tough because some of these people are working part time jobs along with the full time they have with us.”

“We needed to talk to council about this as a potential option,” said Urich. He adds, “This is a dialogue that we need to have as we look at to try to balance this spending plan and then move the city back to financial stability as we look towards to 2019 as well.”

Council members plan to weigh out several options before they make a final decision on the proposed cuts.

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