LINTON, Ind. (WTHI) - The rumor mill has been busy in Linton, Indiana this week. The city is in the middle of making up for a budget shortfall.
And people are worried how this will affect their public safety.
Linton Mayor John Wilkes said there's one important thing people don't understand.
The city has two different segments of the budget: public safety and utilities.
You can't take money from utilities to pay the police and fire departments.
It's two separate things.
Mayor Wilkes blames tax caps.
But the city has about 200 thousand dollars they have to whittle out of their budget to make things balanced.
"We've been fairly tight the way it was. So trying to come up with 200 thousand dollars is really a challenge for us,” said Mayor Wilkes.
Mayor Wilkes has been in endless meetings with the police and fire department to see if they can come up with a solution together.
"What can you guys give up without us hurting you? And I know there's going to have to be some hurt before it's all over with,” said Mayor Wilkes.
The city of Sullivan had a similar issue last year.
And Mayor Clint Lamb had to make some tough decisions. He had to cut fire department employees.
"Public safety makes up about 80 to 90 percent of your general fund,” said Mayor Lamb.
Both mayors say these tax caps hit rural communities harder than metropolitan areas."
"You take a residential, a rural area, like Greene County and Linton, we don't have that industrial base to raise those taxes up. So the only thing we can do is cut,” said Mayor Wilkes.
"Unfortunately, benefits, personnel, that makes up the biggest part of your budget,” said Mayor Lamb.
The budget has to be balanced, otherwise, the city will take a huge hit.
"We have to balance it. If we don't at the end of the year, we won't have enough money to pay our bills,” said Mayor Wilkes.
Linton Mayor John Wilkes says as of right now, they're not planning on firing any public safety officers. That is worst case scenario.
Officials are hoping to come up with a doable plan in the coming weeks.
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