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Wheeling city manager proposes job cuts

Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register photo by Ian Hicks A crowd, including many Wheeling police officers and firefighters, packs the room for Monday’s special meeting of City Council’s Finance Committee.
Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register photo by Ian Hicks
A crowd, including many Wheeling police officers and firefighters, packs the room for Monday’s special meeting of City Council’s Finance Committee. 

WHEELING, W.Va. – Looking to head off looming fiscal challenges, Wheeling City Manager Robert Herron on Monday proposed cutting about 20 mostly-vacant positions from the city’s budget, a move he expects could save more than $1 million annually over the coming years.

Herron’s proposal amounts to about $826,000 in spending cuts – or about 2.75 percent of the budget – for the 2014-15 fiscal year, which begins today, with an additional $310,000 in annual cuts during future years. He also recommended an across-the-board, 6-percent reduction in the city’s business and occupation tax that would reduce revenue by about $600,000 per year, compared to the $1 million in B&O cuts originally proposed last year as a companion measure to the city’s new sales tax.

The bulk of the spending cuts would come by eliminating about 20 full-time positions over the coming years. Most of the positions to be cut are already vacant, Herron said, with the remainder to be eliminated through attrition.

“No current city employee would lose their job as a result of this proposal,” he said.

The police department would take the hardest hit, as its 10 vacancies would remain unfilled, with an 11th position to be cut through attrition…

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