All departments share burden of budget cuts

By Chris Jackett
Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK – At more than $400,000 apiece, the Police and Public Service departments lead the list of city unit budgets slated to be cut during the upcoming fiscal year.

The Police Department is the most funded, and with the recently approved cuts will see the largest funding decrease for the year ending June 30, 2011.

Police general fund expenditures will drop from $7.1 million to $6.7 million, a decrease of 5.72 percent, or more than $407,000. At $1 million, the Public Service Department will lose 28.37 percent, or $404,000 of its budget.

Similarly, the Fire Department saw a decrease of 12.9 percent from $4 million to $3.5 million. The biggest cuts for both departments came from overtime pay, education and training.

Eleven of the 13 city departments will see decreases in funding for the upcoming fiscal year. Only the City Administrator’s and Treasurer’s departments will see minor increases. The administrator jumps up 7.54 percent to $4.1 million; the treasurer’s jumps up 0.23 percent to nearly $199,000.

The Parks and Recreation Department and the 24th District Court also will see high-percentage cuts. Parks and Recreation will lose 19.4 percent, or $308,000, with a budget of $1.2 million, while the court drops 15.48 percent, or $311,000, in its total of nearly $1.7 million.

The Solid Waste Collection and Mayor and Council departments will see smaller cuts that should not have much effect on residents. SWC drops 2.77 percent to $2.1 percent to $2.1 million, a $62,000 decrease, and the city’s decision makers drop 0.29 percent to $117,000, or $340.

About 52 percent of the city’s revenue comes from property taxes. The Police Department accounts for about 28 percent of city spending. Another 41 percent is spent by on the Fire and Solid Waste Collection units and transfers out.

Overall, city officials expect to lose $1.2 million in revenue en route to a $21 million budget for the coming fiscal year, and to end 2010-11 with a $3.7 million surplus.

City Administrator Eric Waidelich did not respond by press time to telephone calls seeking comment for this story.

(Contact Chris Jackett at cjackett@bewickpublications.com)

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