Quincy budget cuts could include firefighter jobs and stations - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Quincy budget cuts could include firefighter jobs and stations

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) - There could be fewer snow plows out on Quincy Roads next winter, as the city looks to cut budgets.

That was one of the potential cuts discussed at a city budget retreat Saturday that also looked at trimming the fire department.

"Right now, our expenses are out striping our revenues," Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore said." "Obviously, that's not a fiscal strategy that's sustainable."

Moore says his goal was to get a realistic picture of the city's financial outlook.

"If we reign back our spending, how does that effect services?" Moore said.

The heads of 22 city departments tried to give those answers to alderman and residents in attendance.

 "We are in trouble as it is," Central Services Director Marty Stegeman said.

Stegeman says he projects an increase in 5.46 percent for the next fiscal year budget, and if not, jobs and services would be cut.

"They would have to eliminate one of their crews either a concrete crew or a tree crew, so obviously central services has decreased almost half their workforce in almost four years, so I don't know how much more we can cut there," Moore said.

Fire Chief Joe Henning also voiced his grim financial concerns for his department.

Henning says if the fire department receives no additional money for the next budget that means slashing 4 positions and closing at least one fire station.

That could create problems with response times for big fires like the Newcomb Hotel.

He was also told to plan for the worst, which would be a five percent budget cut.

"It would be real devastating," Henning said. "You would go from a five station delivery model to a three. If you do a reduction in twelve personnel that would be four less firefighters per shift."  

While Saturday's presentations were all hypothetical, Moore says some or all of it could become a reality.

"I think everything is on the table especially when you're looking at revenues remaining relatively flat," Moore said.

Moore says a 2014 city budget will not be finalized until April.
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