Ypsilanti City Council to hold 2 more budget sessions this month
The Ypsilanti City Council will continue looking at ways of shaving the city budget during two goal-setting meetings this month.
The council will meet on Monday, Jan. 11, and Tuesday, Jan. 19, for two final goal-setting meetings to shape the budget for the next two years, Mayor Paul Schreiber said in a press release on Saturday.
The main focus of the two meetings will be cutting discretionary expenditures by $1.4 million, the mayor said. A possible revenue increase using drug forfeiture money will also be discussed.
“As expenditures are reduced, services may be curtailed and non-emergency response times may be increased,” Schreiber said in the release. “But the citizens of Ypsilanti can be assured that police officers, firefighters, and city staff will continue to respond quickly to emergencies.”
All interested persons are welcome to attend the goal-setting meetings.
At a November goal-setting meeting, the City Council targeted a $1.4 million (10 percent) expenditure reduction to balance the $14.9 million budget through 2013, Schreiber said.
At a December goal-setting meeting, city staff parsed the budget into expenditure categories. Approximately one-third of the $13 million budget is comprised of fixed costs, services required by the city charter, contract costs, and expenditures that generate revenue.
All of these expenditures offer minimal opportunities to cut costs, the mayor said. “The remaining two-thirds of the budget are discretionary expenses,” Schreiber said in the news release. “The discretionary category includes parks maintenance, festivals, city planning, ordinance enforcement, and public safety (medical emergency assistance, fire suppression, and police services). Public safety expenses account for 87 percent of the city’s discretionary expenditures and more than half of its total budget.” The sessions are open to the public and begin both days at 6 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall.