Mayor Says Urbana Will Have To Cut $2.5 Million Over Five Years

Mayor Diane Marlin

Mayor Diane Marlin

Della Perrone Photography

The Mayor of Urbana says the city has some tough financial decisions to make in the coming years.

Calling it a "new reality," Urbana mayor Diane Marlin says stagnant sales tax revenue, declining state aid and increasing pension costs are putting the city’s finances in jeopardy.

Citing a report from the city’s finance department, Marlin says the city will have to cut $2.5 million over the next five years to balance the books. She added that Urbana will not cut city pensions.

"The City of Urbana always fully funded pensions until a few years ago when a decision was made to reduce that funding due to budget concerns, and we can’t keep going down that road," Marlin said.

Marlin also said that she and city administrators are "looking to rebuild relationships" with area businesses in hope they will choose to move to Urbana. She cited increasing property tax revenue through business expansion a priority.

"We are making strong efforts to rebuild relationships and encourage folks to take a look at Urbana," Marlin said.

Marlin adds that city tax rates are at the limit, so tax increases are not likely.

While Marlin says budget cuts are painful, she stresses that the cuts are necessary for long-term stability.

The Urbana City Council will discuss city finances at Monday's city council meeting.

Story source: WILL