City eyes cutting 9 jobs

Published 11:04 am Saturday, May 8, 2010

FRANKLIN—The draft budget for the City of Franklin for the next fiscal year calls for no tax increase, spending less money and cutting nine part- and full-time positions.

The $57 million budget was balanced by increasing some fees, reducing some services and slashing support for outside agencies in half.

The draft budget will be presented to City Council during a public work session at 5:30 p.m. Monday, May 10, at City Hall.

“It is an understatement to say that we have looked at every creative, practicable and immediately implementable cost-cutting strategy we could devise,” City Manager June Fleming wrote in the introduction of the draft budget.

The draft budget calls for reducing mosquito spraying to twice a year, eliminating unnecessary travel by employees and no salary increases for a third consecutive year.

The full-time positions to be cut are deputy director of Community Development, a collections supervisor, a lineman trainee and a benefits program specialist. The part-time jobs to be eliminated are registrar secretary and an animal control officer.

Another three city government jobs also will be cut; they are vacant.

“As the proposed budget is reviewed department by department, it should be noted that no departmental request has escaped severe scrutiny in order to create savings,” Fleming said. “Almost every department has borne a portion of the requirement to make the budget proposal consistent with funding available and thus eliminating the need to increase taxes.”

Community organizations — which were collectively given more than $51,000 during the fiscal 2009-2010 year and were asking for more than $97,000 from the city — would be given $24,000, a decrease of almost 53 percent.

Financial support for Franklin-Southampton Economic Development, which is responsible for bringing jobs and economic growth to the city, would also be cut. The draft budget calls for giving $100,000 to FSEDI, down $50,000 or 33 percent.

The city’s real estate tax and personal property tax rates would, respectively, remain at 77 cents and $4.50 per $100 of assessed value. An additional 24-cent tax would remain in effect for the Downtown Service District.

According to Commissioner of the Revenue Brenda Rickman, in 2009 the city collected $5.28 million in real estate taxes.

A public hearing on the budget has been set for 7 p.m. Monday, June 7.

The budget could then be adopted at the next City Council meeting, Monday, June 14.Text