Update: Jefferson City Mayor to Present 2014 Budget
JEFFERSON CITY - Mayor Eric Struemph presented his version of the Jefferson City 2014 budget to city leaders Thursday night. The 2014 budget has 12 percent fewer revenues, totalling about five million dollars, than in 2013.
Due to the low tax revenues, city workers will not be receiving raises or for the first time in more than 20 years. The city administrator suggested two floating holidays for workers, but the mayor did not agree in his version of the budget.
According to City Administrator Nathan Nickolaus, this, combined with a jump in health insurance costs, means Jefferson City employees could be economically falling behind.
Health insurance coverage for the city is going up by 10 percent. This rise in prices will ultimately be passed down to individual city workers as well.
These changes have caused some concern about the ability for Jefferson City to draw in new employees to fill city positions. There is also worry that existing employees may not want to stay in their city positions if revenues don't increase.
"Across the board we've been cutting back, and right now we're about fifteen percent short on our employees, so we have vacant firemen positions, vacant policemen positions, vacant street department positions," Nickolaus said. "Personnel is kind of our biggest cost, and that's where we've had to take a lot of those cuts."
Thursday's budget meeting discussed new budget formats. One of the changes is to eliminate most grant revenues.
Although the proposal is to remove a majority of the grant revenues, they would be added to the budget if the city receives a grant.
Other changes proposed by the mayor include reinstating a full-time finance director, allocating more funds toward street chemicals and snow removal, as well as developing a contingency fund to account for unexpected events or changes in revenue.
For more detailed information on the 2014 budget proposal, click here.