York City leaders say they would like to find ways to cut costs so they will not have to increase property taxes to help fund the 2015 budget.
City and fire officials talked about the importance of not reducing staff in their departments.
Fire Chief David Michaels says most of his line item expenses have remained the same since 2010. He indicated that next year’s overtime costs are projected at $450,000.
Michaels says overtime is necessary to insure that 10 crew members are on duty in accordance with the union contract.
He said says the fire department will help keep costs down by doing some of its own repair work, and they will seek grant money to help purchase new equipment.
Police Chief Wes Kahley says despite recent media reports, violent crime is down in the city. Kahley is seeking funding for 103 officers in 2015. He says that is the minimum number needed to help stay on top violent crime, drugs and gang activity.
Kahley says a new payroll system allowed the police department to lower overtime by more than $105,000 so far this year.
He says reducing staff would have an impact on public safety across the board.
“When you start dropping officers, you have to start trying to decide what services you want to drop also,” Kahley said. “We can only do so much. There are only so many hours in day and there are only so many work hours an officer can put in.”
Budget hearings will continue Friday.