BARBERTON, OH (WOIO) - Barberton Mayor Bill Judge said the city is taking steps to tackle a nearly $4 million budget deficit, including possible layoffs and service adjustments.
"We looked exhaustively at all options for reducing costs, but because employee costs are the single largest expenditure in our budget, and due to current collective bargaining agreements, we have no choice but to reduce the number of employees," said Mayor Judge.
According to a press release sent by Judge, factors contributing to the deficit include:
- The loss $1.5 million in local government funding from the State of Ohio
- The continued rising costs of day-to-day operations
- The loss of $1.3 million in lost income tax revenue as Babcock & Wilcox relocates its 600 employees to Akron later this year
- Carry over of last-year’s $800,000 deficit
The mayor said they are looking to streamline city services through consolidation and collaboration, hopefully with a minimal impact on the community.
"The move to layoff good, hard-working people I know and respect is the last thing I ever want to do, and is not a decision that was taken lightly," said Mayor Judge.
“I know layoffs will directly and negatively impact families, but we have no choice but to reduce our workforce and adjust City services to balance our budget."
The city is reportedly still negotiating with the union to reduce the number of layoffs and Mayor Judge said he’s hopeful a viable alternative can be established via concessions.
Cleveland 19 has reached out to AFSCME for comment.