Projections for 2014 show City of Pensacola budget shortfall

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 03:33 PM CDT
Projections for 2014 show City of Pensacola budget shortfall story image
CITY OF PENSACOLA   --  The city of Pensacola is constitutionally mandated to keep a balanced budget. But early projections are showing a potential multi-million dollar shortfall for 2014.

At a recent city council meeting, City Administrator Bill Reynolds got up and told the council that the city is facing a more than three million dollar budget shortfall for the 2014 fiscal year.
We came to the city today to find out how that might effect city residents.
It's the focus of our Waste Watch report.
The budget process is a balancing act with tax dollars and revenue on one side and city services on the other.
A three million dollar gap is a big deal with all the different departments lining up for their share of the pie.

The proposed deficit comes from a shortfall in the general fund with decreased franchise fees and utility taxes and the increasingly difficult prospect of paying for pension plans.

Richard Barker, Jr./CFO, City of Pensacola
"Revenue projections, at this point, are about a million down from last year 2013 which was adopted. And also the pensions you know we've been dealing with those and that additional cost is coming in this year."

People living in the city have grown accustomed to a certain level of service but those services could be in jeopardy.
By law the city must approve a balanced budget.
That means tough decisions could be on the way before the 2014 budget is put to bed in September.

Lee Hansen/Pensacola resident
"I think we need to take a close look at the budget and see where we can make savings. And obviously we have to cover the things, police and fire, that need to be covered. But I think there are always places that you can save."

The mayor's office will turn over their proposed budget for 2014 to the city council in June and the process continues from there until the budget is finalized.
If you have an idea for a story on government spending visit and click on Waste WatchProjections for 2014 show City of Pensacola budget shortfall
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