City Department Saved in Temporary Budget

by Audry Kensicki on December 29, 2009 at 5:30 am

The City of Zanesville’s big budget problems were threatening to end one city department’s existence, but now it looks like that won’t be happening thanks to an amendment in the City of Zanesville’s 2010 temporary budget.

At last night’s city council meeting Mayor Zwelling proposed pulling money from the fire department’s salaries and operations budget to fund the city’s building and maintenance department for another three months.

"I was proud of the administration for stepping up," said John Benson of the department. "I was proud of the city council for taking it upon themselves. We had some people going out and new people coming in. Everybody’s aware of it."

Benson said he was encouraged last night by the mayor’s suggestion … But there is a long road ahead.

"We as a department, intend to be right beside the administration and city council to help give them the information we can give to them, where they can glean that information and come back saying, here’s a way we can do it," he said.

Benson said during earlier budget meetings he proposed a plan slashing his department’s operating expenses by 50-percent and cutting hours for each of the four workers.

Benson is unsure if his department’s proposal will be part of the final budget to be finished by the end of March.

He will meet with Public Service Director Mike Sims to finalize the details.