Cape city leaders look to trim budget

By Heartland News

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Cape Girardeau city leaders try to cut costs as they take a hard look at the budget.
For the second time in a week, a major Heartland city takes a close look at it's budget.  Last week, Paducah city leaders announced they would have to lay off 14 city employees.  Now, Cape Girardeau looks to tighten it's belt.
Cape Girardeau Mayor Jay Knutdson says the city is doing everything it can to avoid having to lay anyone off.  
The city's $50 million 2009 fiscal budget begins in June.
According to the mayor, that budget survives on retail sales tax.
Mayor Knudtson says that because of the slumping economy, folks just aren't shopping as much and that's putting a strain on the budget.
So, each city department is being asked to look closely at their budget and together, trim half a million dollars.
"At this point, we've not really given any department a hall pass," Knudtson said.  "We've asked and are asking every single department to really look at their expenses to try to trim off some expenses to help us collectively in this attempt to identify some real cost savings."
The mayor says they look at the budget every year.  The group had to take an especially close look at the budget this year because of downed revenue sales.
He went on to say this is one of the most challenging budgets they've had to work with while he has been in office.
Heartland News also asked the mayor about the proposed water park. Voters passed a half cent tax to pay for the park last April.  Mayor Knudtson says they hope to have the park built by next April.

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