Wichita has a big task ahead when it comes to balancing its budget. Projections show the city would face more than a $5 million dollar deficit in 2013 and nearly a $7 million dollar gap in 2014.
For more than three years the City of Wichita knew it would have a budget crisis to deal with in 2013 and 2014. "The city council has made a lot of tough decisions during that time", said city manager Robert Layton.
Layton says he's found a way to avoid any layoffs. The city will hold about 200 jobs vacant over the next two years. That doesn't mean positions won't go away. For instance, the city plans to eliminate eight police positions. But the people in those jobs will be moved to one of the vacant positions being held open.
"And those officers under this proposal would be moved into existing police positions so no one would be laid off", adds Layton.
Also to bring in more money, expect small city fees to show up. One idea involves raising the fee for parking at city hall. Currently, city officials say people are using the inexpensive city lot instead of paying more for other downtown lots.
Mayor Carl Brewer said he was ok with the ideas adding it's a fine line to balance cutbacks and how nice things are around Wichita.
"They presented a fair budget where we can still maintain a certain amount of quality of life for the citizens and the things the citizens are accustomed to having". The mayor adds consolidating empty jobs is the way to go to make up the deficit.
"You know it’s just smart business to do something of that nature. On July 17, they will host the proposed budget presentation. August 14 is when the budget will be approved.