Firefighters, prosecutors help cover City's budget shortfall - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Firefighters, prosecutors help cover City's budget shortfall

City firefighters will save Spokane $300,000 by switching to a 'high-deductible' medical plan City firefighters will save Spokane $300,000 by switching to a 'high-deductible' medical plan
The Police Lieutenants and Captains Association will save $62,000 by suspending City contributions to their deferred compensation accounts The Police Lieutenants and Captains Association will save $62,000 by suspending City contributions to their deferred compensation accounts
SPOKANE, Wash. - With the City Council's unanimous adoption of a new contract Monday night with Local 270-Prosecutors Association, the City of Spokane has taken another step toward meeting its 2010 budget. 

The new contract provides more than $42,000 in permanent savings for the City.

Previous Coverage

The most notable cuts stemming from a projected $7 million budget shortfall faced by the City of Spokane are coming from the public safety sector which will absorb about 60 percent of the shortfall. As police officers and firefighters brace for the worst, city officials say they won't be the only ones feeling the crunch and warn you could notice the cuts too.>>More
Meanwhile, IAFF Local 29, which represents the City's firefighters, has agreed to replace their medical plan with one that's referred to as a "high-deductible" plan. The change will save more than $300,000 and discussions continue on additional savings the firefighters might offer.

Early this year, the City identified a $7 million shortfall in its General Fund budget for 2010, largely because of the national economic recession.  The City has asked its employee groups to participate in solving half the shortfall.  Savings goals were set for each bargaining unit based on the number of employees and total payroll in each unit.

In addition to the Prosecutors and Firefighters, the Police Lieutenants and Captains Association earlier agreed to suspend City contributions to their deferred compensation accounts to meet their savings goal, saving nearly $62,000.

"We have great employees who are dedicated to the important work of the City.  I want to thank our employees for working with us to develop a solution to our budget challenges for 2010," says Mayor Mary Verner.  "My goal remains constant: I want to balance our budget without layoffs and service reductions.  And our employees are stepping up to assist."

The City's General Fund budget for 2009 totaled $155.5 million and paid for critical services, including police, fire, parks, libraries, and streets.  General Fund revenues include property, sales, and utility taxes. 

- City of Spokane

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