"We have achieved our objective, and (at the next) Finance Committee meeting, I will present a budget that is as close to balanced as you can get," he said. "This balanced budget will come with no additional cost to the citizens, takes away the fear and uncertainty of employee layoffs and allows our reserves to remain intact. We have played the hand the economy has dealt, and we have worked really hard to overcome the adverse effects of our decreased revenue."
But that doesn't mean the council won't have its work cut out for it.
"As we start the process of this financial budget for the next fiscal year, there are a lot of loyal employees out there who have been kind of living in limbo" McDaniel said. "One of the worse things for any employee to have it hanging over their head is 'Am I going to have a job this time next year?' That's created all throughout our county right now. Hard times are here. But with the dedication and hard decisions that have been made, we're in $1.8 million better shape this year than we were last year. Due to the decisions that are going to be made in the next several weeks, this is the first time in the last 15 years that the City of Metropolis is facing a balanced budget. We're going to have to make some more hard decisions and stay on course. If we can stay on course, we can protect every job we've got right now."
McDaniel read a statement from himself and Chief Financial Officer Tricia Suttles concerning what was accomplished when the "council and city employees cut down deep" when making the 2012 budget, spending numerous hours to chip down its $1.8 million deficit by implementing the following changes:
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