City lays off employee to help balance its budget |

City lays off employee to help balance its budget

Grass Valley got closer to a balanced budget Tuesday night when the City Council laid off a city park ranger in closed session.

Park ranger Trent Finch had his position eliminated to help shore up the city’s projected budget deficit.

“It’s tough,” said City Administrator Dan Holler.

The city has until the end of the month to finalize the 2008-09 plan, which was still $215,000 in the red going into the meeting. The city was originally staring at a $1.5 million deficit due to declining growth in taxes, rising costs and raises to city employees in recent years.

The past few months the city managed to catch up with the deficit with department spending cuts and a hiring freeze, which pared the equivalent of 16 full-time jobs.

“All our bargaining units met with us and came up with suggestions,” said Holler before the meeting.

Holler said he was confident the city could make up the rest of the deficit in its $12 million general fund budget by June 30, 2009, the end of the next fiscal year.

The newest budget will also mean cuts in services to city residents, Holler said.

Two police officer positions will remain unfilled and there will be only two animal control officers after a planned summer retirement of a third. A code enforcement officer will also have to devote half their duties to the city’s housing rehabilitation program.

To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail or call 477-4237.

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