City plans furloughs if state cuts aid


Evanston City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says two one-day furloughs for city workers are among the steps the city may take to deal with cuts in state aid being considered in Springfield.

Bobkiewicz told aldermen Monday that the unpaid days off may be necessary if the state cuts the portion of state income tax revenue it shares with municipalities in half — as has been proposed — or makes other cuts in an effort to balance its budget.

The city already has seen a cut of about 50 percent in the most recent monthly transfer of motor fuel tax revenue from the state. If that continued for a year it would cost the city close to $1 million. A similar reduction in the city share of state income tax revenue would punch a $3.5 million hole in the city's budget.

The furlough days being considered are the Friday before Labor Day and New Year's Eve.

Each furlough day would save the city about $215,000, Bobkiewicz says, so it will require a lot of reductions beyond two days off to balance the city's budget if the state cuts are implemented.

The city manager says he's also reducing the size of expenditures that department heads can authorize without his approval to $5,000 and will have the city's budget staff more closely monitor spending to try to find other savings.

The state is still trying to come up with emergency solutions to balance its current budget, for the fiscal year that ends June 30. And it hasn't yet settled on a budget for the new fiscal year that starts July 1.

The city, which operates on a calendar year budget, adopted its current spending plan last fall.

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