PTC fire, police escape cuts to balance current budget
Saturday by the Peachtree City Council at the final day of its annual planning retreat.
The police cut would have left the department one person short in the patrol division, according to Police Chief Skip Clark. The fire cuts would have meant that at the end of the year shifts would be reduced from 19 personnel to 18 personnel when employees took sick leave or vacation time, said Fire Chief Ed Eiswerth.
The city is facing a $621,000 shortfall in this year’s budget and the staff proposal added another layer of cuts totaling $424,000 from departmental budgets, including a $5,000 reduction in the city’s Fourth of July fireworks, a $20,000 cut in the library’s book purchasing fund, recreation cuts for field maintenance and improvements and others.
Leaving in the police officer and fire funds will cost the city $43,000 in savings that won’t be realized and must be made up elsewhere. But other positions in the city will remain vacant to provide a good portion of the savings.
The matter was discussed at the council's retreat meeting, which ended abruptly Saturday afternoon after Councilman Eric Imker suggested that if city employees didn’t like pay cuts such as his suggestion in furlough days, he felt there were plenty of people in the job market who would gladly take their job.
After that comment drew quick criticism from Councilman Doug Sturbaum, a 4-1 motion was authored to end the meeting with Imker voting against.
Other savings for the city beyond the $424,000 in departmental cuts included:
• $100,000 in cash savings (from the lower bid price for the cart path bridge completion along Ga. Highway 54 West
• $100,000 in debt service savings; and
• Use of an additional $86,000 in cash reserves to be used on top of the $451,000 already budgeted use from cash reserves.