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Grand Island to cut $4.8 million budget deficit for 2018 fiscal year

Grand Island City Hall (NTV).

The City of Grand Island is looking at a $4.8 million budget cut for the coming fiscal year. Administrators have said this could mean cutting jobs.

"We don't like to lay off people, but we're in a situation where all things are on the table," City Administrator Marlan Ferguson said.

The situation he's referring to are the budget cuts to come in 2018. After projecting that next year will bring a more than $4 million deficit, officials have said something has to change.

Right now, the city uses almost 80% of its funds on personnel costs and they're trying to get it down to 70%.

"We felt like we really needed to get a handle on what's causing our expenditures to go up, we're talking about the general fund. That's where most of our taxes are used. That's what we really focus on more than enterprise funds," Ferguson said.

Included in the general fund are areas like the police department, fire department, parks and rec, and the public library. If the city doesn't find a way to receive more revenue, some positions in those fields could be in jeopardy.

"Is there revenues that we can get that we're not getting, to bring up the revenues? Or we need to reduce some of the staffing levels in some of the departments so that we can get down to the 70%," he said.

City Councilwoman Linna-Dee Donaldson said if they don't cut the budget, things like fixing the underpass or buying city vehicles, some of the things that the city takes for granted, won’t be able to be purchased unless funds are allocated differently.

She said they're weighing all of their options and hope they can come up with a solution without getting rid of anybody's position.

"It's really personnel worries that we're focusing on first. Plus, finding some other revenue. If we can bring in more money, then of course the expenses will not be so bad," Donaldson said.

They’re also considering leaving some positions unfilled once people retire. The City encourages anyone with input to send in comments, click here.

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