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City Officials Pitch City Budget to Aldermen

St. Louis City Hall
(KWMU File Photo)
St. Louis City Hall

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – Some St. Louis Aldermen got their first chance to question city officials Tuesday about a slimmed-down city budget.

Budget cuts include the elimination of travel by the Board of Aldermen; laying off four employees in the Comptroller's office, and one fewer full-time position for the city's budget office.

The budget takes effect July First. The Aldermanic Ways & Means Committee reviewed the proposed cuts with the Mayor, comptroller, and other officials.

Budget Director Frank Jackson says Aldermen will make a final decision next month. "At this point, I'm presenting a balanced budget," Jackson said. "What's being debated here is how it's balanced and whether or not the steps I've taken to recommend a balanced budget are acceptable to the Board of Aldermen."

The proposed budget is $824 million. Officials say higher insurance and pension costs are making this year's budget tough to balance.

Mayor Francis Slay says he wants to set an example by cutting his office budget 12%. "That will involve getting rid of two employees-we're laying off two employees," the mayor said. "There's a position we're not filling. There's another position we're only filling for a half of a year. All of the employees in my office will be taking a two-week furlough."

The city is also refinancing debt on the America's Center and Civil Courts building to bring in an extra $10.3 million.