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City Council to meet Friday about additional budget cuts

READ MORE: City Council to meet Friday about additional budget cuts
Budget cuts are likely on the way for the city of Wilmington. City Council expects the amount of money the city gets from property and sales tax to drop this fiscal year. 70 percent of the city's money comes from property and sales taxes. But those revenues are down thanks to our tight economy. City leaders will meet behind closed doors at Wilmington International Airport Friday to discuss a proposal from city workers for additional budget cuts. The city is already at a 5 percent reduction, with the elimination of overtime and business travel and vacant positions left unfilled. Wilmington City Council member, Earl Sheridan, said additional cuts will be painful but necessary. “Unfortunately these are things that we have to do. The two scenarios that we are looking at are 10 percent and 15 percent,” he said. At 10 percent, more than $1 million in street paving would get the axe. The $80,000 Safelight Program, which fines drivers for running a red light, would end. Also, $150,000 in Front Street crosswalk enhancements would be delayed. At 15 percent, cuts would include the 10 percent reductions, layoffs and a setback for the 2006 Parks Bond Project, which includes adding and preserving parks around the city. Property tax and sales tax would pay the bond off, but with the current economy, that is on hold. December is a big month for a lot of property and sales tax money to come in, but poor sales and home foreclosure's are among the reasons the city expects a drop in funds for the fiscal year that ends in June. Sheridan said, “Many cities and towns are going through very hard times, and we are not any exception to that.” City Council will meet with staff at 10:00 Friday morning. The goal is to adopt the 10 and 15 percent proposals in case they are needed later if revenues are down.

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