The City Council in Casper voted to cut the city’s budget by more than a third on Tuesday.
While the cuts do not include any layoffs, Casper City Council member, Bob Hopkins, says there will be a reduction in capital spending, elimination of 23 vacant positions and early retirement for some city employees.
Hopkins says the primary goal of the cuts is to keep public services, like street maintenance and snow plowing, going during the economic downturn.
“We know we’re in a downturn, but we’ve been here before and quite honestly the city has made good preparations for that.”
Hopkins says Casper’s reserves are significantly higher than most other cities in the state and almost three times larger than what the Wyoming Association of Municipalities recommends. However, he says the cuts are part of a long-term solution, since the future of the economy is unknown.
“Nobody knows where the mineral market is going be and being the state of Wyoming, the truth is, we are so dependent on minerals and most people that live in Wyoming don’t even realize that.”
The new fiscal year for the city of Casper begins July 1.