Furloughs Not an Issue

by Ashley Zilka on January 10, 2011 at 10:15 am

It was announced at the City Council meeting Monday night after reviewing the final carryover, Zanesville will be able to make up the projected 500,000 dollar shortfall by about 50,000 dollars.

Budget Director Dale Raines says the final carryover was higher than he had expected in his preliminary 2011 budget. Both city council and the mayor agree that they were very lucky this year. The last quarter income tax, unused money in various departments, and 1.2 million dollars in an inheritance tax, are some of the factors that helped make up the expected 496,000 dollar budget deficit. Council fears this will bring up trust issues with the public.

"People look at us and we fight day in and day out for every money that we have, and to say back in the beginning of November that we needed 500,000 dollars then all of a sudden this money comes, it’s just hard to tell people how it happens," said Councilman Jeff Tilton.

With the deficit no longer an issue, Mayor Howard Zwelling said he will not push city employees to take furloughs, although he still thinks it would help get Zanesville back to being "healthy economically."

"With this found money, it is not necessary to have furloughs. City Council was going to pass their ordinance, last year I wanted furloughs and council said no, so I assume they will say no this year and I am not pushing for it now that we don’t have to have it, said Mayor Zwelling.

The leftover money may be used to allow employees in the building maintenance and traffic signal department to go back to a 40 hour work week. Also discussed at tonight’s meeting were several ordinances. Protection of the public water system from contamination was passed. Another ordinance for funds provided to the Port Authority had its first reading and also to rent space at the Zanesville Municipal Airport did as well.