AUBURN | Auburn City Manager Doug Selby gave city councilors his latest proposed 2013-14 budget cuts during Tuesday night's special meeting.
Selby also proposed to not have ice at the Casey Park rink, keeping turf year-round, while looking for alternative winter programs, and for the city landfill to eliminate Saturday operations and be open four days a week.
There were several proposed positional cuts and heavy departmental reconfiguration. Selby wants the city cut four more full-time positions in each of the fire and police departments, totaling about $588,000 in savings.
These cuts are in addition to Selby's earlier idea of cutting four vacant fire and two police positions upon retirement. Those six positional cuts would be $435,000, according to Selby's report.
"This is a tough time for the city and for City Council," Selby said.
The proposal comes in the wake of city councilors rejecting Gov. Andrew Cuomo's pension smoothing plan, resulting in a $1.7 million gap in the proposed budget.
Selby also wants to reconfigure the Planning and Economic Development Department into a newly created Department of Community Services. Program planning would be outsourced to the county at the cost of $75,000 per year plus $5,000 for direct expenses.
As a result, Selby suggested to eliminate the city's program planning manager position. Cutting the position would save $100,000 resulting in an overall savings of about $20,000.
Two code enforcement officer positions, one full-time and one part-time, were proposed to be cut, resulting in a savings of $128,000. Selby also proposed to replace employed school crossing guards with volunteers, for a savings of $100,000.
Four city councilors decided to digest Selby's information and come back with their own proposed cuts during Thursday's meeting, which was rescheduled for 5 p.m.
Councilor Matt Smith made his own proposals Tuesday night, which included eight more positional cuts to the fire department — four assistant fire chief positions, two full-time firefighter positions, one fire inspector position and one fire and safety educator position — in addition to Selby's cuts.
The salaries for the four fire chiefs are $104,000 each, including benefits, Smith said.
"These are salaries that we cannot sustain," he said.
Smith also proposed to keep three of four police officer positions, cut one city engineer, cut one registered clerk and completely cut funding to three city committees: the Human Rights Commission, the Historical Site Commission and the Beautification Committee.
Smith also proposed to forgo his salary as a city councilor for the next fiscal year, which would be about $9,000.
"I know this is just a minor, minor adjustment for me ... compared to many individuals throughout this city that could possibly be losing their jobs," he said. "I understand we're not just affecting one individual, but we're affecting families."