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Baker budget issues still a balancing act

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BAKER - Very little was accomplished at a special works meeting in Baker as city leaders tried to balance next year's budget.

For three hours leaders met to talk about different options. The proposed budget is about $2 million short of covering the city's bills.

The city's financial director, Aristead Clayton Jr., suggested a 21 percent cut from each department.

"Some departments don't have that much of a budget to decrease, so the only way they can cut is by cutting salaries or cutting employees," Clayton said.

Police Chief Mike Knaps said if he cuts 21 percent from his budget, he'll be cutting jobs.

"We can't cut 21 percent. 21 percent of my budget would be 21 percent of my employees which equals 7 people. We can't do it," the chief said.

Another option put on the table would be freezing a 2 percent salary increase for all city workers.

The council will meet again next Monday. A budget has be voted on by next Tuesday. The new budget year begins July 1st.



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