ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — The City of Altoona held a council meeting Wednesday night in an attempt to balance the budget without having to tax the residents of the city, resulting in cutting 15 positions.
The city council isn’t “laying off” public safety workers, but they are considering cutting positions across the board through attrition. This means when public service employees like police and fire leave their positions, no one else will be brought on to fill that spot.
Altoona’s City council says that the pandemic has hit their pockets hard, leaving them to cut the 15 positions across the board.
“Were just going to have fewer people here do the same amount of work, if not more work so everyone will have to work a little bit harder, work a little bit smarter,” says City Manager Ken Decker.
According to Decker, there was no other way to balance the budget without shrinking staff. In total, they will be able to save about $900,000 while avoiding taxing the residents of Altoona.
If we’re not going to raise taxes, we have to cut expenses. expenses are going to come in through different parts of the budget so that’s going to be weighted to personnel.”Jesse Ickes, Altoona City Council Member
The eliminated positions will include six police, four fire, three community development, two public works, and four admin support staff.
Council members say they’re also trying to borrow less money and pay off more of their debt.