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City Commission unanimously adopts budget

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Posted: Tuesday, September 11, 2007 12:00 am

The Gainesville City Commission unanimously adopted a proposed budget on Monday.

There was no citizen debate, and commissioners did not delve further into the issue.

Several public workshops were held in July to discuss the proposed financial and operating plan budget.

The budget, which cuts more than ,4 million, will be implemented during the new fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1 and ends Sept. 30, 2008.

Becky Rountree, administrative services director, said changes were made as a result of new property tax reform passed by the state Legislature earlier this year.

"Our city commission has not had to go through this level of cuts in the past," Rountree said.

It has had a higher impact on Alachua County than on Gainesville, she said.

City spokesman Bob Woods said the city has had to be more fiscally conservative as a result of the new budget.

Rountree said they offset the reduction in funds by proposing new and increased fees. Examples include a new fire inspection fee, environmental protection fees and a communications services tax that will show up on cable and phone bills.

Parking meter fines will also be increased, Rountree said.

Cuts were made through changes in department organization, such as the reduction of city vehicles.

In addition, an executive position and a position in the Strategic Planning Department were eliminated.

"We won?t fill positions right away," Rountree said.

It could possibly come down to cutting programs or services in the future, she said.

Significant cuts may be seen next year if there is more tax reform. The worst-case scenario would be an additional ,6.5 million cut from the budget, she said.

Welcome to the discussion.