Galesburg working to balance $2 million deficit

Galesburg working to balance $2 million deficit

GALESBURG, Ill. (KWQC) – The city of Galesburg is looking at a more than $2 million deficit. Galesburg City Manager Todd Thompson said the deficit comes from rising pension costs and revenues less than expected.

City leaders met Tuesday night to discuss possible ways to balance their budget, but some people who live in Galesburg believe these budget issues should have been addressed sooner.

“I’m concerned about it, I mean we have to think about all the things that go into a budget,” Dick Lindstrom, a longtime resident of Galesburg said.

He says he is uneasy about the city operating under such a large deficit.

“I realize they’re having to deal with pensions and increased costs and things, but it’s really frustrating that this can’t be dealt with in a little more timely manner, so it seems like we’re not the hot seat every time we get to this point of the year,” Lindstrom said.

Thompson says the city predicted this deficit and has been working on a solution.

“This is the time of the year, you know, two months out from the end of the year, where it all comes together,” Thompson said.

He presented a plan Tuesday night that includes eliminating six personnel positions, four of which are a street supervisor, a deputy treasurer and two jobs with the fire department.

“Fortunately we don’t anticipate laying people off, we’ve left positions open as a result of retirements so we can move some folks around and not have to lay anybody off,” Thompson said.

City leaders say they don’t want to increase property taxes, which is something Carolina Ramsell, a Galesburg resident and business owner was happy to hear.

“I hope that they don’t raise taxes, that’s hard on people when they do that,” Ramsell said.

Thompson says they keep balancing the budget every year, but aren’t making enough money to sustain it. He says they expect to keep seeing this problem unless a solution can be found.

Thompson says some items are expected to come up on the agenda at the next city council meeting.

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