PETERSBURG, Va. – At a Petersburg City Council meeting called on Monday morning, members voted for a 10 percent pay cut for its full-time employees, as a method to help balance the budget deficit.
The pay cut is intended to last just six months and was one of four options presented to council.
"It's a start and we have to make decisions to stop the bleeding,” said Vice Mayor Sam Parham.
The 10-percent cut will save the city about $1.5 million dollars over the six- month period.
An option to cut 20 percent would have saved the city just over $3 million.
"We have to find a way to make up the funding that's needed for the city to continue to be operational," said council member John Hart.
Council members had expressed to Interim City Manager Dironna Moore Belton that they didn't want layoffs as an option.
"Our goal today was to not lay off any people but to start making the cuts to keep everybody on board," Parham said.
Belton said more cuts to the city budget can be expected in the future as the city works through the financial crisis.
One potential cut will target part-time employees by cutting their hours in half.
The 50-percent reduction could save the city about $309,000 over a six month period.
On Monday, council also learned the city deficit is now at $17 million, about $3 million more than what they previously knew.