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New Budget Cuts Proposal For Clinton

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In an attempt to lower property taxes, city leaders in Clinton want to cut $260,161 from next year's budget.

In a recent budget scenario presented to council, the police and fire departments took a major hit. But a new budget proposal was presented Monday and it eliminates public safety personnel cuts.

Several Clinton residents protested outside city hall before Monday's budget meeting. They held signs in support of police and fire employees. But, while many residents didn't like the idea of public safety personnel cuts, neither did city council members.

"To be honest with you, if we came back here today and it was three fire and three police, I'd probably have a hard time voting for it," said 3rd ward city councilman, Edward O'Neill.

Last week, city leaders asked for a new budget proposal that would avoid personnel layoffs. Clinton's finance director and city administrator passed out the new proposal late last week.

On Monday, many city employees were pleased to see public safety personnel cuts were not included in the new proposal.

"We had meetings last week with the departments," said Finance Director, Anita Dalton. "Being mindful that no one wanted to reduce personnel."

Of the $260,161 that city leaders would like cut from next year's budget, $110,652 comes from surplus general fund money and the city attorney position, which will now be outsourced.

All of the budget worksheets presented to council so far are just proposals, nothing is set in stone. But most council members agree, they wouldn't feel right lowering property taxes at the expense of public safety jobs.

The budget deadline is in mid March.