Flint to move ahead with controversial budget plan - WNEM TV 5

Flint to move ahead with controversial budget plan

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

With just a week to go until the new fiscal year, Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley's controversial budget will move forward but without the council's approval.

Earley formally adopted his revised budget and plans to reduce the city's nearly $13-million deficit over the next two years.

The plan recommends cutting 36 positions in the police department and 19 fire positions.

"We just simply don't have the funds to go forward carrying those positions in public safety. Waiting for the results of the study to determine what the need is," said Earley.

The budget also includes a hike in water rates, even though residents say their water bills are already too high.

"Pipes been busting in Flint since Woodrow Stanley. They didn't increase our water bill. So why would you go up on our water bill," says Flint resident Quincy Murphy.

While many are skeptical, Earley believes this budget will put Flint back on the right financial track.

But elected city officials made it clear, this isn't their plan.

"There's no way I would have put my name on something that's going to raise water rates, cut police and cut fire. There's no way I was going to do that," says council member Wantwaz Davis.

In the first six months of the fiscal year, Earley plans to determine how to transition the police and fire departments.

He'll determine how many positions will be vacant due to retirement and if the city can get any additional money from the state. If all those numbers don't add up, then layoffs could begin.

This new budget takes effect July 1.

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