From AP - News Headlines -

Champaign’s Lean Budget Proposal Gets Council Scrutiny

The Champaign City Council will tell its staff tonight whether it likes the six-million dollar patch proposed for the city budget.

The proposal includes the elimination of staff positions that are either currently vacant, or expected to become vacant in the near future. Spending on capital improvement projects would drop, with some of the money earmarked for that use transferred over to the city's General Fund. And Champaign would raise some of its current fees and create new ones.

Assistant City Manager Dorothy David says the proposal is meant to address a decline in tax revenue, due to the recession. She says it would help the next Champaign city budget --- and budgets to come.

"This six million dollars is really a multi-year strategy designed to position us to not only balance the budget next year but to work through the next couple of years of economic downturn and recovery," said David.

The city has held a series of public forums on its budget proposal. The third and final forum is set for 2 this afternoon in the Champaign City Council chamber. Tonight's study session on the proposal will be held after the regular City Council meeting at 7.

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