Fire and Police Departments Talk 2010 Budget

by Kelly Mills on February 11, 2010 at 7:25 am

The city of Zanesville is in a budget crunch and Thursday the Public Safety Committee met to discuss cutbacks at the police and fire departments.

The Zanesville Police Department has to trim around $150,000 off its budget from last year. Chief Eric Lambes said they are cutting back on overtime, going back to a cheaper paint scheme on their vehicles and they will not be filling two open positions.

They may also have to discontinue use of their in-cruiser computer systems, which cost about $7,000 a year to run.

"The officers can run registrations. They can look up valued information on criminals or check people through the computer system. The dispatch can send a call to a computer via the computer, the Internet, and there’s just various aspects there that are very beneficial and I’d hate to lose that," said Lambes.

Chief Lambes said they believe it’s still within the budget to continue to house 40 prisoners at the Zanesville City Jail.

Fire Chief Dave Lacy said the Zanesville Fire Department has to cut about $700,000 from its budget compared to last year.

Right now to save on overtime they are having senior fire fighters replace lieutenants that have called off.

"It would definitely have its cost saving to it, we’re actually doing that on a temporary basis right now. We’re trying to work through the different issues and trying to see what works best for us and trying to save where we can," said Lacy.

In current projections the fire department will come in around $50,000 under their allowed 2010 overtime budget.

The permanent city budget must be in place by the end of March.