Mayor Presents Two Proposed 2013 Budgets
One plan would slash personnel and services
ANCHORAGE - When designing a budget, coming up $30 million short means tough decisions have to be made.
“We knew that 2013, in our six year fiscal forecast several years ago, would probably be the single most challenging year,” said Mayor Dan Sullivan at a press conference Wednesday.
Mayor Sullivan says to keep the city running close to current levels, the Anchorage Assembly must approve the use of $12 million that originally would've gone to the Anchorage School District, but due to recent changes in state law, can now be spent elsewhere.
"Last legislative session the legislature capped the amount of money the school district can collect in property taxes and they're making up the difference from state funds,” said Sullivan.
Mayor Sullivan can't assume the assembly will approve the $12 million - so he has two plans.
The Plan A budget is based on the extra money not being available, and would mean cuts to the Anchorage Police Department, People Mover, park maintenance and the library.
The Anchorage Fire Department will also be forced to close three stations and would lose a truck in Eagle River.
If the assembly approves Plan B, the AFD will be able to keep two of the three stations it would have to close.
“Under either plan there is a reduction in service,” said vice president of the Anchorage firefighters union, Mike Stumbaugh.
“I believe the mayor misspoke when he said the services will stay the same. They will not. There will be station closures, there will be apparatus closures, which could affect public safety as well as our safety,” said Stumbaugh.
Assembly Chair Ernie Hall says it will likely come down to Plan B - using the $12 million to restore positions and services.
“Plan A, the continuation budget, I don't think there is anyone on the assembly that will give consideration to that,” said Hall.
The assembly is expected to make the final decision in mid-November.