A discussion will be held next week with the Battle Creek City Commission and citizens, about how the city can make up a looming budget shortfall.

Due to a change in state law regarding personal property tax exemptions, the City of Battle Creek’s budget for their current fiscal year is short by about $2.4 million. At the workshop at the Department of Public Works taking place next Thursday, three options to fix the problem will be presented.

The first option is to take all of the money out of the undesignated general fund balance, leaving $3.5 million in the fund balance.

The second option is to cut budgets across several Battle Creek city departments through various cost-saving measures. Those include eliminating a position in the Finance Department, and cutting $709,000 and $406,000 from the Police and Fire Departments respectively through reducing overtime and leaving vacancies unfilled. Even will all these cuts, however, roughly $76,000 of general fund dollars would still be needed.

Option 3 takes all the budget cuts from Option 2, and also includes a reduction of General Fund employee pay by 5% from February 1 through June 30.

These options and much more will be discussed at the meeting at 5:30pm January 24, at the Department of Public Works Building on Kendall St. The complete presentation on the potential solutions to this budget problem can be seen here.