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More On Cincinnati's Potential Government Shutdown

Cincinnati's city manager said if Council fails to pass both an operating budget and capital budget by June 30th, it would "constitute a genuine emergency."

Harry Black told the Mayor and Council Tuesday, in a memo, that could force the city solicitor to go to court and get an order directing council to approve a spending plan.  

The memo said Council also has the option of passing a temporary budget that would fund operations until September 30th.  

Black said the council impasse could stop work on current capital projects, impact the city's bond rating and hamper the city's efforts to support the Major League Baseball All-Star Game next month.  

An incomplete budget would also mean "only essential operations of city department would continue as of July 1."  The manager wrote that could impact "public safety, health, processing of general payroll and retirement benefits, and sanitation services to name a few."

Without an annual or temporary budget in place, the city is legally not allowed to expend public funds under Ohio Revised Code.  

At least five of the nine city Council Members supported the city's general fund operating budget during a committee vote Monday.  But a vote on the city's proposed capital budget tied, which means it failed.  The measure is also likely to fail during a full council vote Wednesday.  State law requires both the operating budget and capital budget be approved by June 30th.  

Five Democrats want projects added to the capital plan that Mayor John Cranley doesn't support.  He placed the projects in separate ordinances so he can veto them if they are approved.  

"Ample time remains in order to complete the legislative budgeting process prior to June 30," Black wrote in the memo.  "The city administration stands ready to continue to work with both the Mayor and City Council to provide supports, recommendations and to answer any questions that arise."

While a city government shutdown is possible, many people at city hall believe it's highly unlikely.