Galesburg council ponders budget cuts

Galesburg’s city council appears poised to approve a budget that includes more than $2 million in cuts. That’s after a study session on Monday in council chambers.

Aldermen want to find ways to save a dozen jobs and preserve services. It’s a tall task under the city’s current financial situation.

Four firefighters and two police officers are on the chopping block. Six additional city jobs are on the line.

“We need to take a long-term perspective,” said City Manager Todd Thompson. “It’s really just not about balancing the budget this year. It’s about creating financial stability for the city.”

During Monday’s study session, aldermen also talked about raising utility and property taxes as a way to save the jobs and grow the economy.

While residents are concerned about safety and services, the city remains in a tough financial bind. That means some difficult decisions are looming in the near future.

“In the long run, the way out of this is to grow the city, bring in more people, build houses, build businesses,” said Galesburg Mayor John Pritchard. “That will increase the property tax.”

Those tough decisions will happen in November. That’s when the city council will approve its budget during a regular council meeting. That meeting could take place on either November 4 or 18.

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