A top priority for the 2012-13 City of Seward budget was finding a way to pay for the new city Library/Museum. Finance Director Kris Erchinger said the necessary cuts affected every department as the general fund was reduced by 7.5% on the expenditure side.
Erchinger: “The general fund budget was cut about $800,000 from the previous year’s budget and those cuts affected every department. Things such as a $50,000 reduction from the parks and recreation department It was a combination of service cuts. We closed one of our campgrounds for example. We eliminated our community schools program. We also eliminated a position that was previously funded called the Public Works Superintendent and we had a significant reduction in overtime for the police department and the public works department in order to absorb these new costs.”
Every non-salary line item in the budget, with the exception of five specific items, was cut.
Erchinger said the two-year budget had the deepest cuts she’s seen in her 20 years at Seward City Council.
The finance department is planning to revisit it in 2014, when they’d be looking to reinstate some of the potentially unsustainable cuts, particularly in the police and public works departments. They’re now looking at ways to provide finances for the future, particularly in the machinery replacement program.