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City's shortfall is $15 million, not $12 million

$3 million bump in city employee salaries was approved last year

Posted: April 24, 2014 - 11:10pm

The $12 million budget shortfall Juneau faces in fiscal years 2015 and 2016 has been talked about at city meetings since the budget cycle began a couple months ago. That figure doesn’t include a $3 million increase in city salaries and benefits, city manager Kim Kiefer said.

In addition to covering the $12 million gap, the City and Borough of Juneau and its assembly also have to find the money to account for salary increases approved by the assembly last year. That brings the total shortfall to a little more than $15 million — $6 million in 2015 and about $9.3 million in 2016.

“It’s always been $15 (million), but we had already accounted for $3 million when we talked about the budget last year,” Kiefer said.

At last night’s assembly finance committee meeting, city assembly and staff were mentioning a $12 million deficit and $13 million deficit. To cut down on confusion, Kiefer said, she has been telling city staff, “‘Let’s just talk to $15 (million).’”

Kiefer’s proposal to balance the $15 million shortfall can be found on page 9 of this online document: www.juneau.org/clerk/ASC/FC/2014/documents/2014-04-02_AFC_Packet.pdf

The assembly has approved all but four of Kiefer’s suggestions for cutbacks to city departments. The Assembly is waiting to make a decision on cuts to Capital Transit and the closure of the Augustus Brown Swimming Pool, among other items. At Wednesday’s meeting, the assembly approved a funding floor of $24 million for the Juneau School District in FY 2015.

The assembly will hear public testimony on the city budget at 7 p.m. Monday in the City Hall Assembly Chambers.

• Contact reporter Katie Moritz at 523-2294 or at katherine.moritz@juneauempire.com. Follow her on Twitter @katecmoritz.

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Martin Beckner
50
Points
Martin Beckner 04/25/14 - 06:29 am
6
1
Budget Shortfall

How about utilizing all the CCFR volunteers that have been trained as FF/EMT's as first line response. The CBJ could get a better return on the money already spent. The volunteers are eager to participate and we could reduce the number of paid personnel. That would save a lot more money than reducing the amount of Toilet Paper (Commodities) from the budget. Also the Ambulance service could be run by BRH. The crew could be housed right now at Bartlett House and they would not have to be cross trained as Fire Fighters, which significantly increases the personnel costs. It is time to get serious about Budget reduction.

Bill Burk
13098
Points
Bill Burk 04/25/14 - 07:39 am
7
3
City Budget

I still feel that ALL the projected budget cuts would NOT be necessary if the city assembly stopped financing unnecessary projects like the whale statue, the unnecessary dock improvement, the new library, and a long list of other projects that the assembly feels we have to finance!

Brad Fluetsch
2316
Points
Brad Fluetsch 04/25/14 - 08:23 am
5
6
Bill

Pretty certain those few Juneauites that bother to vote put the community into this predicament, not the Assembly. (ok, the Assembly candidates pander to those special interests that vote). No, special interests and their lust for swimming, skiing and skating alone has cost the CBJ $50 million in the past five years.

Debbie White
1160
Points
Debbie White 04/25/14 - 08:43 am
10
0
Bean counters

So, on March 11, we were told it was just under 5 million. Then it was 6, then 9, then 12, now 15?!?

A few million here, a few there... eventually you are talking real money. What will they say next month?

Brad Fluetsch
2316
Points
Brad Fluetsch 04/25/14 - 09:12 am
6
6
Of those that bother to vote in Juneau

A majority of them do not pay sales tax and have a generous property tax exemption. Is it any surprise that they vote for conspicuous consumption?

Just a little voter analysis will demonstrate that of the 19% that bother, nearly 90% are seniors that pay no tax or are employees who enjoy the fruits of government largess.

I just wish the rest would get off your butts once a year and vote in the municipal election.

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