Bowling Green City Council discusses options to make up $600K deficit

Bowling Green City Council discusses options to make up $600K deficit

BOWLING GREEN, OH (WTOL) - The Bowling Green City Council met Monday night to discuss options to make up the $620,00 deficit in their general fund budget.

Due to state funding cuts, the city came up with several options to make up the difference from an income tax increase to reducing police officers and firefighters.

"Personally I don't want to do something for a band-aid that will get us through 2017 or just 2017-2018," said City Councilman Bob McOmber. "I don't want us to have to have this kind of discussion again for a long time."

The council proposed nine options Monday and eliminated three, including reducing police and fire service as well as eliminating the arborist position.

The council will further discuss raising the income tax from two percent.

Another option would be redistributing the income tax money from the sewer and water capital improvement fund to the general fund.

Both of these options would have to be approved by voters in November.

The city council also proposed privatizing trash collection. The council also suggested the city could continue their service for a fee of possibly $12 or $13.

The council also discussed options including collecting money for tree trimming assessments, which would raise $300,000 for the general fund deficit.

Finally, the council suggested looking at how the city spends smaller portions of money, which they decided needs more research before further discussion.

"Were not going to make everybody happy," Councilman McOmber said. "There's a lot of alternatives here that are all alternatives that none of us particularly like. The rate to end up in a better financial position, you either need to cut your expenses and provide less service or if you're providing the same service you need to charge more for it."

Councilman McOmber says he plans to make his decision based off how much money the proposed option would bring in for the general fund, how many people it impacts and if it is a long-term solution.

The city council says they will continue the discussion in June with hopes of having a solution by January.

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