Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

East St. Louis Council Adopts Deficit Budget, Warns of More Trouble to Come

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

East St. Louis Council Adopts Deficit Budget, Warns of More Trouble to Come

Article excerpt

EAST ST. LOUIS * A deficit budget for 2016 that cuts expenses from legal fees to cellphones was adopted by the City Council on Monday, with warnings that things are likely to get worse.

City Manager Alvin Parks said the city probably will have to lay off more employees, although he didn't offer a number. He said he hoped the fire department can quickly cut seven of its 50 firefighters by attrition, the most allowed in a new deal with the fire union.

In October, the city laid off eight police officers, cutting that force to 45.

"We will continue to look for savings in everything, little and big," Parks said as he described eliminating city-paid cellphones for employees. "We will go back to two-way radio transmissions and old-fashioned face-to-face conversations."

He conceded that will save relatively little but is symbolic.

The council voted 5-0 to adopt a total budget of $38.2 million for the year beginning Jan. 1. Most of the discussion in past weeks has been about the general operating fund, which would be cut by $1 million to $18. …

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