Imker: How to cut $1.2 million

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Peachtree City Councilman Eric Imker thinks the city can eliminate a projected $1.2 million shortfall in the 2011-2012 budget by enacting a series of cuts.

Imker presented options to cut a projected amount of up to $2 million to council and staff at Saturday’s City Council retreat. Among his ideas:

• Reduction in force of three full-time positions ($210,000 potential savings) although reduction by attrition is desired.

• Five furlough days instead of the workforce reduction above ($350,000).

• Department cost reductions of 2.5 percent, based on reductions implemented this year ($250,000).

• Implement new (higher) motel taxes ($200,000).

• “Measured” salary reductions for top 10 percent of city wage earners ($110,000).

• Ask employees to choose between defined benefit retirement plan or 401K retirement contribution percentage match ($180,000). Imker says the city currently offers both to every employee at a cost of $180,000 a year for the 401k match and $600 per employee per month for the defined benefits program.

• Implement recreation department fee and other revenue recommendations ($200,000).

• Implement utility audit to identify potential overpayments ($100,000).

• Reduce department contingencies, extra money allocated as a reserve for each department but not intended to be spent routinely ($200,000).

• Get a higher interest rate from a bank for cash on hand.