NORTHWOOD – The city plans to free up funding to recover one position in the police department that would
have been eliminated in the trim 2010 budget.
City Administrator Patricia Bacon said this morning that council agreed at its Thursday meeting to
resurrect a full-time patrol officer position, which would have been cut with three other jobs next
month to gird the budget against a projected decline in revenue. With approval of the plan, which was
suggested by council member Dave Gallaher, the city gave first reading to the 2010 budget.
Bacon said the city was able to divert funding to the position for one year from a safety project fund.
Traditionally, Northwood has executed safety projects – including construction of a new salt building
and installation of traffic cameras at busy intersections – with these funds that are generated from
photo enforcement cameras.
However, Bacon cautioned that the budget will not be impacted by the plan.
"The budget is still what it is with all the cuts everywhere" and with the exception of the one
full-time officer position.
Income tax collections are down by 15 percent, or about $500,000, as compared to September of 2008.
Accordingly, the city has scheduled layoffs for a court office employee, the mayor’s secretary, and now
one full-time police officer position. Any positions that are vacant will remain unfilled. The layoffs
take effect Nov. 6.
Finance Director Toby Schroyer said Thursday that the 2010 budget shows general fund revenues at about
$4.5 million with expenditures coming in right around the same amount.
From the beginning of August through September, he said, the decline in income tax nearly doubled. Most
of the city’s financial issues stem from its reliance on the recently beleaguered auto industry.
Bacon said the city will enter 2010 with a conservative fiscal approach, anticipating no positive changes
income tax collections.
"We’re going in this with the attitude things are not going to get better for 2010," she said.