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City council looks at cutting costs

The Levelland City Council held a second budget work session Monday at City Hall.

Erik Rejino, city manager, said there are several areas of the budget he and Cavazos are examining to see where expenses can be cut.

The city shows that it will end this year with approximately $3.1 million and is expecting to end next fiscal year with $1.8 million, a difference of about $1.3 million.

Rejino said one area that was increased in the budget last year was housing demolitions under the inspections department. The fund used to be $75,000 per year, and was increased to $125,000 last year. The city had proposed to leave that number at $125,000 again this year, but Rejino said after looking at the whole budget, it might be better to bring that number back down to $75,000.

He also said staff is reanalyzing the proposed two percent cost of living adjustment, which amounts to approximately $80,000.

Rejino also assured city council members that as the budget gets closer to the end of the fiscal year, that $1.3 million gap should close.

“That’s assuming we spend every single dollar we get,” Rejino said. “Historically, we are five to seven percent under budget….as we refine the budget I think we will be able to close that gap.”

Richard Ellis, a local resident and a member of the Board of Regents for South Plains College, also addressed the city council about financial planning and encouraged the council to spend ‘within its means.’ The council also discussed the possibility of creating a $1 water improvement fund to allot for future improvements.

Read the full story in the Wednesday edition of the News-Press.

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