Mayor announces $30 million in budget cuts:

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Mayor Bart Peterson June 29 announced $30 million in emergency cuts from the city’s 2005-2006 budget. Public safety took the brunt of the cuts. The Indianapolis Police Department will lose 78 officers through retirements and attrition. The Indianapolis Fire Department will lose 44 firefighters, also through attrition.

In anticipation of the need for cuts, the city began leaving some of those jobs open in January. When finished, IPD’s force will drop from 1,232 to 1,154.

Unless the General Assembly approves the mayor’s Indianapolis Works proposal to consolidate local government next year, the cuts will not be restored, Peterson said. He has predicted Indianapolis Works could save the city $35 million annually.

Also being eliminated are two helicopters out of IPD’s fleet of five, and 15 civilian police and fire positions. Also, firefighter overtime and ride-out pay is being reduced, along with supplies, consulting fees and capital purchases.

If the City-County Council does not approve the proposed merger between IPD and the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, Peterson said, another 48 IPD officers will be cut. Peterson also slashed the budgets of the Parks and Recreation Department, the Department of Metropolitan Development and the Department of Public Works, as well as the executive and administrative offices. In total, the city will reduce its staff by 189, all through attrition.

One portion of Indianapolis Works the General Assembly did pass gives the mayor control, for the first time, over budgeting for Marion County’s agencies. They’re next in line for cuts, Peterson said.


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