Hutchinson City Council plans for additional budget cuts

Local

Hutchinson City Council is discussing more on budget cuts, including several key positions.

“In the course of the last thirty days, we’ve made probably $1.7 million in cuts to equipment requests, capital improvement requests and operating budgets,” said Hutchinson City Manager John Deardoff.

He also added the city is looking to cut an additional million dollars on top of that.

“Our expenses are going up,” he said. “Operating cost go up every year, fuel, retirement and health insurance.”

However, sales and property taxes aren’t, leaving the city without extra revenue and forcing the elimination of six employee positions.  

Deardoff said two of the eliminations include the Assistant City Manager position, currently held by Myrl Dye, and the downtown development position, currently held by Jim Seitnater.

Ox Rollins, Hutchinson resident, said he’s concerned about losing more city employees because they already don’t listen.

However, Deardoff said the elimination will not make a significant impact.

“The assistant city manager was in retirement,” he said. “A lot of the positions in public works and parks were through attrition, so they’re vacant positions that we’re just not going to fill and take out of the budget.”

Some community members say they are shocked with the cuts

“It’s the opposite direction I thought we were going in as a city,” said Jessica Flax, a Hutchinson resident.

While others say they’re upset.

“Instead of dumping money into sculptures, dump the money into the zoo, the salt museum, Kerry Park and Dylan’s Nature Center,” Rollins said. “Money should be spent on places that could bring more people to this town.”

Deardoff said the city’s number one goal is to create a structurally sound budget.

“I’m not concerned with these cuts because they happen yearly,” he said.

Deardoff also added that the city has about $4.2 million in reserves.  

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