Local Politics

Durham budget cuts could include 35 jobs

Posted May 13, 2009 10:38 a.m. EDT

— Thirty-five city workers would lose their jobs under a budget proposed by Durham City Manager Tom Bonfield.

Bonfield's plan, which he is expected to present to the City Council next week, also would hold Durham's property tax rate at 54 cents per $100 valuation.

“This budget reflects ‘community priorities,’ which was the guiding principle for developing this year’s budget,” Bonfield said in a statement. “Fortunately, even with this year’s tough economy, the administration was able to meet those priorities, including public safety, providing quality core services, neighborhood revitalization, capital project delivery and youth programs.”

The draft budget calls for eliminating 113 city jobs, however, including 78 that are vacant. Bonfield said the city is trying to place some of the 35 people slated to lose their jobs in other positions.

No specific numbers have been released yet, but Bonfield said spending would be slashed to remain in line with lower sales tax revenue and less money from the state.

The cutbacks include withholding merit raises for city workers and cutting contributions to their retirement plans, scaling back some programs that aren't used a lot and using federal stimulus money for some capital projects and for Durham Area Transit Authority buses.