Politics | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Tallahassee Faces Deficit, Commission Holds Budget Workshop

By: Eyewitness News Email
By: Eyewitness News Email

Tallahassee, Florida- July 17, 2012

City funding for the trauma center in Tallahassee could be on the chopping block.

The Tallahassee city commission met last week to hear ideas on how to balance their 2013 operating budget. One idea: cut funding to the Trauma Center.

Tallahassee Memorial's Trauma Center began operations in 2008. The city proposed cutting the $75,000 it has reserved for trauma center funding. TMH says they've been in this situation before this year.

"This is a process that we go through every year. We go to the city and the county, talk to them about what the trauma center has meant to the community, the lives that it's saved, and they have, every year, supported the trauma center," said Warren Jones, Vice President and Chief Communications Officer.

"The money that we receive from the city and the county goes into our trauma budget but does help us in our outreach, our community outreach where we do injury prevention, as well as train professionals in the community," added Freda Lyon, TMH's Emergency Services Administrator.

The city will hold public hearings on the proposed budget in September.

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- July 10, 2012 --

"It hurts a little in some respects, but it also gives us what we want and that is a balanced budget."

Those were some of the words Tallahassee Mayor John Marks used while addressing the city commission at their final budget workshop. Public hearings for the $686 million dollar proposal begin in September.

"We're looking at every single aspect of municipal government to see where it is that we can save and not only cure this year's deficit, but how do we address future deficits in 2013 and 2014," said city commissioner Andrew Gillum.

To tackle the $740,000 shortfall many recommendations were made. They included: adding only four positions to Cascades Park instead of six, saving the city $100,000, eliminating funding to the Trauma Center, saving $75,000, and closing the Lafayette Arts & Craft Center, saving about $55,000.

"I've been coming to this center for 40 years, taking different courses that's been offered at different times," said Nora McKay, a center patron and part-time employee.

The Arts & Craft Center is more than just a money saver to the folks that go there. They offer summer camps and adult classes that they wouldn't want to see go away.

"This center's been open for a long time and I think the customers here really enjoy coming here and really enjoy the classes we offer so it would be devastating to them," said Patricia Pittman, the center's supervisor.
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Tallahassee, Florida - July 10, 2012 -

The Tallahassee City Commission held a budget workshop on the morning of July 10th. The city faces a deficit of almost 1 million dollars for 2013 if they cant find a way to balance it out.

When City Manager Anita Favors Thompson released her 686 million dollar operating budget in June it was balanced, but some bad news has caused a deficit to the tune of just under 740,000 dollars. The State of Florida sales tax revenue was less than anticipated and property values have decreased, leading to this point. City Officials say coming up with almost a million dollars is tough. Some of the proposals included cutting the amount of staff to be hired at Cascades Park this coming spring from 6 to 4, eliminating trauma center funding, and closing the Lafayette Arts and Crafts Center among other things.

Stay with WCTV for much more on this story.


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