Madison Addresses Ailing Budget

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Madison, FL - Madison citizens gathered at city hall Tuesday to address their city's ailing budget.

"It could be a 2, 3, 4, 5 year recovery but we need to pick up the ball and run with it," said Madison city manager Tim Bennett.

Madison's unrestricted net assets, or cash reserves have been dwindling in recent years.

As the city's needs have grown over the years, officials have had to dip into funds, which are now becoming dangerously low.

The money is badly needed for the city's natural gas, water/sewer, and sanitation.

City manager Tim Bennett presented one of the most controversial options to the commissioners: cuts to the police department.

Bennett said it's likely the department won't be removed completely but will likely lose a couple of officer positions.

Madison is also facing the high cost of fixing aging water and wastewater infrastructure.

"When we had a water line that had a leak or two on it like this, we'd go in and replace the whole line and put in a new line," said Johnny Webb of the Madison Water Department. "Now we can't afford to do's pretty much just a band aid."

Officials say the department of environmental protection has actually fined the city 10,000 dollars for 3 separate leaks that created swamp-like conditions in the city.

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