Months after passing its budget, the Georgetown City Council will have to find a way to cut its general fund by around $400,000.
Last week the council voted 5-2 to not raise millage to keep its general fund budget at $8.5 million. The millage increase was proposed as a result of the countywide reassessment that showed property values went down.
Now the council has to find places to cut and it will begin that discussion at a special meeting on Tuesday.
Councilwoman Jeanette Ard said she didn't think it would be hard to find targets to trim.
Mayor Jack Scoville said earlier that it would be difficult to cut $400,000 from the budget without laying people off. But Councilman Rudolph Bradley urged delay on any layoff decisions.
"We just need a quick fix for this year's budget," he said. "Let's at least wait until the budget process starts again next year. Now is not the time to be laying people off."
Bradley said he had some areas that can be cut, including around $400,000 the city paid recently for a fire truck.
Ard said the city staff has suggested eliminating take-home cars for employees.
"That's a perk, them driving cars home," she said. "Some people are driving 70 miles round trip ... way outside the city limits."
She said that would be a cut of around $32,000, which she would support.
City administrator Chris Eldridge said he did not want to go into detail about the suggestions staff has made, but he said they had been working all week on them and "it's taken some work."
He has said before that the bulk of the general fund budget is salaries and benefits.
While Scoville said layoffs could be a consequence of rejecting the millage increase, he also has said that if there is any discussion that would lead to people being laid off he would first propose that the council serve without its salary or benefits.
For example, Ard said, the city is spending $82,000 for professional services.
"How much of that do we really need?" she said.
Ard said she thinks that any outside labor being paid for by the city, especially consultants, should be examined closely.
She also called for elimination of nonessential uniforms and equipment purchases.