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Cincinnati Fire, Police Depts Millions Over Budget Amid Pandemic

Bill Rinehart

Cincinnati's fire and police departments are millions of dollars over budget, largely because of pandemic challenges. The city manager's office presented a budget monitoring report to a City Council committee Monday.

The fire and police departments have had to cover a lot more overtime recently, partly because of the increase in COVID-19 sick leave.

Turnover is another costly problem - attrition at the fire department was nearly 200% higher than expected by the end of November.

The report projects CFD will need $8 million more than estimated by the end of the fiscal year, and CPD will need another $4.9 million.

"We may need an additional appropriation," said Assistant City Manager and Budget Director Chris Bigham. "We'll talk about sources and process just as we get closer. But that's a very important part because we have to be balanced in the year."

Income tax revenue is about $16 million higher than projected. Parking meter and parking fine revenues are each about a million dollars below estimates.

Bigham says the overall budget is short about $4 million.

"We do have funds to cover it as of now," Bigham said. "Our staff works with all the departments to make sure that there's proper savings that we're trying to manage this as much as possible."

The report covers expenses through the end of November 2020. City officials will consider an adjustment ordinance in May to balance the budget before the end of the fiscal year.

You can read the full report below. 

Budget Monitoring Report_Ending Nov. 30 2020 by WVXU News on Scribd

Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.