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Cincinnati manager releases budget plan

Jay Hanselman

Cincinnati City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr. is recommending closing a $34 million general fund deficit with a series of cuts and a large chunk of one-time money from letting a private company manage the city's parking facilities.  

He sent his plan Monday to Mayor Mark Mallory, who'll review it and forward it to City Council.  

Dohoney said it wasn't possible to close the large gap with cuts alone.

“To balance this budget based solely on cuts would call for the elimination of 344 positions,” Dohoney said.  “You simply could not function if you implemented a cut of that magnitude.”

The police department's mounted patrol and the city's arts grants programs are recommended for elimination.  

Dohoney said the city will review proposals for leasing the operations of the city parking garages, lots and parking meters to a private company.  

But that won’t be completed by the end of the year.  Instead Council could vote on such a proposal before June.

“We will have a proposal that we will submit for approval to City Council,” Dohoney said.  “It will be able to be explained and vetted in the light of day, questions answered and then hopefully move forward from there.”

By the end of this year, Council will only be authorizing city spending for the first 6 months of 2013 because of the transition to a fiscal year.  The rest of the appropriations will come in June 2013.

The manager also wants to use $5 million dollars in savings from this year to help balance next year's spending plan.  

The proposed budget also calls for city water rates to increase by 7.25 percent next year.  

In addition, the manager is asking Council to raise the property tax rate for 2014 to the maximum allowed in the city charter to collect another nearly $8 million.  

Council's Budget and Finance Committee will hold public hearings on the budget December 6th and 10th.