Doral’s mayor and city manager want to slash the city’s budget by more than 28 percent, by cancelling big-ticket projects such as a new police station and a park, and by cutting overtime, especially in the police department.
At $7 million, the police station will be the largest single item to be cut. Instead of their own building, police will share a new two-building facility built last year for the public works department, 6100 NW 99th Ave.
All told, City Manager Joe Carollo and Mayor Luigi Boria would cut $16.5 million from the city’s $58 million general-fund budget for the current fiscal year.
Such a large mid-year cut would be unusual. At a press conference to announce the proposal on Thursday, Carollo and Borgia said the money will go into the city’s savings to pay for other major projects, such as road and drainage improvements and a cultural arts center.
The City Council is scheduled to consider the cuts on Wedneday.
Carollo also proposed cutting the amounts set aside for a new park on Northwest 114th Avenue, and eliminating one of two planned parks near City Hall.
The city manager also would cut $1.7 million in personnel costs, but without having to lay off any employees.
He wants to curb overtime hours, particularly in the police department.
Police Chief Richard Blom said some officers have claimed overtime for going to court on days off — even if it’s Monday and they haven’t reached 40 hours for the week yet.
He said a new timesheet system has begun to limit the problem.
“I’m not paying for overtime just because you’re here,” he said. “I’m only paying overtime if you go over those 40 hours.”
Carollo said he doesn’t want officers issuing tickets just to get overtime by going to court.
“I’m not going to bash the police,” Carollo said. “But if they’re going to issue tickets, it won’t be to go to court to get overtime.”
Mayor Boria said he asked Carollo to comb through the budget as soon as Carollo arrived at City Hall in January.
“Our ultimate goal was to significantly reduce city spending without affecting the quality of services that we provide to our residents and businesses,” Boria said.
If passed, the city’s reserves would reach about $40.6 million, which Boria and Carollo said would serve the city well as plans for road and drainage improvements, as well as cultural arts center, loom on the horizon.
The Doral City Council will meet to vote on the proposal Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the Doral Government Center, located at 8401 NW 53rd Terr.
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