New budget proposal revealed in Flint could mean big cuts to pub - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

New budget proposal revealed in Flint could mean big cuts to public safety, higher water rates

New budget proposal revealed in Flint could mean big cuts to public safety, higher water rates

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FLINT (WJRT) - (04/30/14) - Wednesday evening, Flint's Emergency Manager Darnell Earley laid out his proposed 2-year budget.

The biggest hit could come to the police department with the potential elimination of up to 36 positions.

Kevin Smith, of the Flint Police Officers Association, believes eliminating the positions will cripple the police department.

"Crime is going to skyrocket, all response times is going to skyrocket and your police services will be at a bare minimum, more than the minimal staffing level we have today" he said.

The recent loss of a federal SAFER grant could also mean the fire department stands to lose 19 positions.

Earley says funding concerns tied to retiree healthcare is also a big game-changer.

"You have to make tough choices when you are in a distressed community like the city of Flint, the cost for providing services continues to rise, while your revenue to cover those expenditures either stays flat or decreases," Earley said.

Water and sewer rates, street lighting and solid waste fees could also go up under the proposed 2-year budget.

The city is working to eliminate a $12 million deficit and regain enough financial footing to emerge from state control.

The city council will now review the two year spending plan.

Earley wants their input because at some point during this budget, the city could be back in local control.

The 2014-2015 fiscal year begins July 4, 2014.
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