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Battle Creek approves city budget amendment to overcome $2.4M shortfall

Battle Creek approves city budget amendment to overcome $2.4M shortfall. (WWMT/Sam Knef)

The city of Battle Creek approved an amendment to the city budget with the goal of overcoming a $2.4 million budget shortfall.

The budget amendment made cuts across city departments. The city also dipped into the general fund balance, or “rainy day fund,” to restore all proposed cuts to transit, some of the proposed cuts to the fire and police departments.

Battle Creek Assistant City Manager Ted Dearing said, “I think that was the goal, was to make these reductions without impacting health, safety or welfare in anyway, again to preserve as many people, and as many services as we possibly could, and I think we did achieve that goal."

The Battle Creek Police Department would reduce funds to special unit activity, a dedicated downtown officer, and training. The Battle Creek Fire Department would reduce equipment funds.

A budget workshop was held on Jan. 24 and the commission asked for proposal options to make up the shortfall.

Dearing said the addition of money from the general fund balance put it a little below where the city is comfortable.

He said the city wouldn’t be able to dip into the general fund balance to maintain operations on an annual basis.

“It is important to note that the use of fund balance is not sustainable, and we will prepare our fiscal year 2020 budget request without it,” said City Manager Rebecca Fleury in a release.

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