The Treasurer’s Office created a financial forecast for five Zanesville City funds and it shows the potential for disaster.
The forecast is only an estimate of expected revenue and expenditures. It uses assumptions such as no growth in revenue, 4 percent wage increases and other costs.
The forecast currently shows if changes are not made, the city would be have a deficit in those five funds of more than $3 million next year and more than $21 million in 2014.
"It’s just an important tool for us to look at to see what changes need to be made now, so that we don’t face some kind of a fiscal crisis in 2013, 2014. I think that we’re finally looking down the road a little bit to make sure that we don’t run into any problems or at least do what we can today to prevent problems in the future," says David Tarbert, Budget Committee Chairman.
The city cannot run in a deficit, but Budget Committee members are hoping they can use this forecast to make the necessary changes.
"It’s important to use that, again like you said, as a wake-up call to all the departments in the city, all the unions in the city, to say, hey we all need to pull together to help fix this in this time of national economic and world economic crisis we need the citizens and the employees of the city to come together and help fix this problem," says Tarbert.
The Budget Committee is planning to meet again in a few weeks with updated actual numbers from 2010 entered into the forecast.