Department heads with the City of West Frankfort have begun meeting with Mayor Tom Jordan to talk about the likelihood of state budget cuts.
The meeting comes on the heels of Governor Bruce Rauner's budget proposal, which includes a 50% reduction in the Local Government Distributive Fund, which is the money the state doles out to municipalities from the collection of the state income tax.
Mayor Jordan says that kind of cut would mean a loss of $405,000 to his city's $4 million general fund. He says he called on department heads to consider cuts based on the loss of $100,000, $250,000 and the full $405,000 cut proposed by the governor. Jordan says he did this because he's concerned this might just be the first round of cuts facing municipal governments.
"I think if we talk about it, have that conversation, we'll have something we can draw off of, something we can say this is where we don't want to be. But, if we have to be there, look at it, see what it looks like. It gives us something to talk about."
Jordan says he wants all city employees to be aware of the potential budget cuts so they can provide their suggestions on how to deal with them.
"I told all of my supervisors, I said 'go back and talk to your people about this. Make them aware of everything we've talked about.' I said, 'they have suggestions, we need to let them know that we want them to be part of the solution.'"
Jordan says it's difficult to plan facing the uncertainty of what the final reduction may look like once the General Assembly debates the budget picture. But, he says West Frankfort has the ability to modify its budget during the fiscal year.