SPOKANE, Wash. – The Spokane City Council has finalized the 2011 budget and taxpayers may notice a reduction in their services from the Street Department.
The union representing the Street Department failed to reach an agreement with the city. So a nine-percent budget cut is creating a shuffle within the department.
There will be service reductions, but right now city leaders can't say how much.
They do say the elimination of 13 positions in the department will make a difference.
The council voted to add $1.5 million back to the department’s budget Monday night, but that doesn't save any positions.
It just maintains the department’s $700,000 reserve fund.
City leaders said less people in the department means less people working on the streets.
They'll have to pull crews from other departments to run plows. That could mean a delay in response time.
Snow removal up until the New Year is being paid for with the 2010 budget, but if the city continues heavy snowplowing into next year they'll have less money this spring for new asphalt and pothole filling.
Even though positions are being eliminated the city says nobody in the Street Department is being laid off. Employees are being moved to other vacant positions within the city.