BOWLING GREEN, OH (WTOL) - Bowling Green is seeing red in its future with budget deficits looming on the city's horizon.
The future shortfall of some $600,000 is blamed on state cuts and some revenue losses, but city leaders are working now to avoid any money crisis in the future.
Bowling Green is looking at options to balance their budget for 2018. A number of options were presented to city council, all of them impacting the
"Some of the options affect some groups of people more than other groups of people," explained Bob McOmber, city councilman at large and chairman of the finance committee. "So we've just got a lot to take into account before we get to making any hard decisions."
In order to make up the deficit of more than $600,000 the city proposed a few ideas and even modifications of the ideas.
They could raise the income tax rate, redistribute the income tax differently, privatize their trash collection, and cut or eliminate staff in departments across the city like the arborist or potentially even police and fire.
"We can absorb the deficit for this year without precipitating a crisis in the city," said councilman Bob McOmber. "So we're not in a desperate state, but I certainly would want to have a plan in effect so that we don't look at this kind of deficit in 2018."
With a plan already in place for this year, city council is looking for suggestions from the community on their proposals to fix the deficit in the general fund.
Residents are glad their officials are listening to their opinions.
"I'm not sure which is the best at this point because they haven't really given us enough information yet," said Lynn Ackerson, a resident of Bowling Green. "I think that is why they wanted to get the proposals out there, let people think about them and come to city council and be able to ask questions of the counselors."
"It's important that we get a handle on this situation," said Mark Hollenbaugh, a resident of Bowling Green who is running for city council. "But at the same time, we don't want to unduly burden any one segment of the city."
Bowling Green City Council members say they are listening to hear additional options and what their community thinks is best to move forward.
They plan to discuss the issue again at the committee of the whole meeting on May 15th in hopes of getting closer to a solution.