Springfield Mayor Proposes "Austere" Budget, Cuts Staff, Libraries, Sidewalk Repair
Springfield mayor Dominic Sarno is proposing significant cuts in services and staff in the budget proposal for the fiscal year that starts in July. The cuts include three branch libraries, 12 staff, some garbage pickups and some parks.
The 552 million dollar proposal would mark a 1.8% spending decrease from this year, Sarno said in his submission to the city council today [TUESDAY]. It would leave 100 vacant positions unfilled, in addition to the 12 eliminated jobs. More than a third of the positions that would be be left open are in the police and fire departments.
The East Forest Park, Liberty Street and PinePoint library branches would be closed. And the department of public works would no longer repair sidewalks.
Sarno proposes raising trash fees by ten dollars, and instituting a local option tax on hotel and motel stays. Sarno says the austere budget was driven by the "triple negative forces" of lower property tax collections, level-funded state assistance, and increased non-discretionary expenditures -- such as contractual health care and other payments. He also calls his proposal "balanced and sound."
You can view the Mayor's proposal online here .