Prattville Financial Crisis

The fiscal year began Saturday without the Prattville city council approving a budget. And now the city is operating on an emergency spending resolution. Monday night, city officials looking for ways to trim the budget and lower personnel costs in the upcoming budget year.

The current financial crisis has city leaders looking for a way out of a jam the city's been stuck in since the previous mayor left.

"And Voila we had no money," District 6 Prattville City Councilman Ray Boyles said.

Boyles says when Mayor Bill Gillespie took office in January, personnel costs made up 70 percent of the budget. Boyles and other council members want to cut that to 56 percent.

"It's going to take another million and a half worth of cuts to get us down to that 56 number," Boyles said.

Some suggest layoffs. Mayor Gillespie wants to let attrition and retirements reduce costs.

"I can see where we can meet that goal or approximately meet that goal and still provide all those services," Gillespie said.

The mayor says vital services like police and fire will not be impacted, but Boyles says other departments will.

"It's not going to be easy. We're going to have to reduce it to another 15-19 people," Boyles said.

The mayor says a study reveals a nearly $200,000 savings within the city's waste water department. Councilman Boles says that will come at a cost as the study suggest reducing the staff size by six while still providing efficient services.

"Some areas that you can be proactive in, there's other areas you have to reactive in," Gillespie said.

The mayor is also looking to reduce worker's comp expenses. But he says it all starts with a budget.

"The most efficient thing to do is to get a budget passed," Gillespie said.

"Everyone's on the council is about on the same page, so I think we will get there quickly," Boyles said.

City council president Mike Renegar says he will call a work session between now and the next meeting on October 18th. Renegar says November 15th is the absolute deadline to pass a budget.