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January 28, 2014

Lee’s Summit needs to pare $1.8 million from city budget

Officials say everything is on the table. The deficit was expected because sales and property tax revenues aren’t growing as fast as expenses.

Everything is on the table — raises for Lee’s Summit employees plus police and fire budgets — as the city looks at trimming about $1.8 million from next year’s budget.

The city’s five-year fiscal model predicts a $1.8 million deficit for the 2014-15 fiscal year and those after, based on current programs, a merit raise pool for employees and continuation of the city’s health plans.

The deficit was expected because sales and property tax revenues are not growing as fast as expenses.

The general fund is roughly $58 million.

City Manager Steve Arbo has been working on the problem with a council committee.

City Council member Derek Holland said health care coverage is one area where costs have grown fastest.

“Health care is eating our lunch,” Holland said. “We can’t absorb all the costs. We’re going to have to ask our employees to contribute to the cost of health care.”

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