A budget proposal submitted by acting Peekskill City Manager Brian Havranek would eliminate 31 full-time positions next year.
Havranek submitted a $35,650,045 proposal for the 2013 fiscal year to the Common Council Monday. The proposal represents a $388,937 decrease from this year's operational budget.
The tax levy would increase $837,972, to $14,804,248, and the tax rate would increase 6 percent, to $236.90 per $1,000 of assessed value. The average Peekskill taxpayer would see an increase of about $10.13 a month in additional city taxes.
Havranek's proposal would cut 31 full-time employees, or 14 percent of the workforce, for a savings of about $2.9 million. Of those 31 positions, seven are currently vacant.
"The current economic environment under which we are operating is extremely difficult and although there are signs that the economy is recovering, it is not growing fast enough," Havranek wrote in a letter to the common council. "With that in mind, my directive to each of the department heads for the FY 2013 budget was of reduction and consolidation and 'to think outside the box'. This budget will enable the continuation of essential services to the community."
A preliminary list of full-time being targeted for elimination include 15 administrative positions, 10 public safety positions and six positions in the department of public works.
In addition to the 31 full-time positions, another 9 part-time positions would be cut, for a savings of about $164,349.
"Furthermore, a number of key management positions were only partially funded for the FY 2013 budget," Hravenek wrote. "The assistant city manager was budgeted for nine months of 2013, the city manager position was budgeted for the last quarter of 2013 (three months) and the director of public works/city engineer was budgeted for 10 months of 2013."
Hravenek said he started the budget preparation process with a gap of nearly $5 million, which would have resulted in a tax increase of 35.3 percent.
He blamed a 21.5 percent increase in state pension costs, a 12 percent increase in health insurance premiums and shortfalls in revenue projections as some of the driving factors behind the city's increased expenses.
Other measures that would be taken to decrease the tax rate include:
- Decreases in the number of contractual lines
- Salary freezes for non-union management
- Substantial cuts to operational line items
- Increases in general fees
- Reductions in programs
- Reorganization and consolidation of departments.
During Monday's work session, the common council scheduled budget review sessions for Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.; Oct. 10, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.; and on Oct. 29, from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Check back for more updates as they become available. A PDF containing Havranek's proposal is attached to this story.