City of Reno's budget recommendations include retaining 15 firefighter positions

Reported by: Samantha Boatman
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Updated: 4/23/2014 1:22 pm
RENO, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- The City of Reno is hosting two annual budget workshops before the budget is adopted on May 20th. A big discussion in Wednesday's meeting had to do with recommendations to pay off debt, increase reserves and retain 15 of the initial 50 firefighting positions expected to be laid off.

Although Wednesday's announcement regarding the lay-off of 35 firefighters was made several weeks ago, it had not been specified that the number of lay-offs had the potential to reach 50. In the past couple of weeks, the city has reviewed their overall budget to see if there was anyway to keep those 15 positions to keep that number at 35.

Recommendations include utilizing a one-time funding from the Regional Transportation Commission to pay off City Hall debt that currently sits around $3.7 million.  City leaders say paying off that debt will free up one million dollars a year over the next four years.

Also, the savings from the recent Rosewood Lakes Golf Course operational agreement with the First Tee of Northern Nevada would save right around $320,000.

And last but not least, efficiencies in the Fire Department budget would save about $550,000.  Add all of those, and city leaders say 15 firefighters would still have a job. Right now they are just recommendations, but could be adopted by city leaders.

City leaders also say that this year's budget and next year's budget is "something to celebrate." Kate Thomas, with the Office of Management and Budget says the city is getting a lot closer to financial stability.

The fund balance has been increased to more than 7% to enhance the overall fiscal stability and address cash-flow concerns. The City of Reno hasn't had a reserve level greater than 7% since 2008.

The city also says they have seen an increase in the Ctax. Thomas says the growth there has a lot to do with the Amazon Sales tax. Ctax in 2014 was up 2.8%.

Also, the new parking kiosks have brought in a revenue close to half a million dollars.

The next budget workshop meeting will be held on May 6th before the budget is adopted on May 20th.
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Prblmslvr - 4/23/2014 11:50 AM
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If my math is correct thats $123,000 per firefighter per year.

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