City-County Council to tackle $50-60M shortfall for 2013

Indianapolis

The exact number is still being calculated, but it looks like City-County leaders in Indianapolis are facing a 2013 budget shortfall somewhere between $50-60 million dollars. Every option that doesn't cut vital services is now on the table.

The 2013 budget is expected to be officially introduced to the City-County Council on Aug. 13. The city appears to be up to its neck in red ink and that means all city and county departments are going to have to tighten the belt even more to get the numbers to match up. Hard choices will have to be made and new ways to save money will have to be investigated.

Marc Lotter with the Mayor's office said City-County counselors and Mayor Greg Ballard have to work together to solve the problem.

"It's gonna take a lot of little things here and there, finding new efficiencies, finding those little steps we can take to help close the overall budget deficit over not just a one year period but over the course of two or three years."

Mary Moriarity Adams chairs the Public Safety Committee. She said everything is on the table except options that would cut services.

"That would be the last thing that as chair of Public Safety I would want and I'm sure the Council as a whole would want, so we would do our best to see where we can move monies or see what we can do about obtaining grants or whatever to see that we have the best possible funded budget that we can."

Several options being talked about to save money include IMPD officers paying for some of their gas and cell phone use. That's something the Sheriff's Department put in place a couple of months ago. Also, Sheriff's Deputies conducting traffic and cutting a 3 percent cost of living raise for officers could also be implemented. While many said these are possible options, they would not fix the entire shortfall. By law, a balanced budget must be passed by Nov. 1.

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