On Wednesday, Jefferson City Administrator Nathan Nickolaus handed Mayor Struemph his version of next year’s budget.
One of the most notable fixes is the lack of raises for the city’s nearly 300 employees whose salaries come from the general revenue fund. It will be the first time they do not get a bonus in 23 years.
“It’s a huge blow, I mean I want to be able to provide raises to our employees,” Nickolaus said. “I want to be able to continue to attract and retain good, quality employees and if you don’t give raises you can’t do that…but I have no money for raises.”
Nickolaus also wants to stall earmark projects, including street and sidewalk work that may not have been included in the capital improvements tax. And open positions will stay that way. Jefferson City is still down about 20 employees. The latest version does include funding for JCTV and the Jefftran bus system, bringing them back from the brink of collapse.
“We’re running out of money to pay for asphalt, we’re running out of money to pay for a lot of things and we can’t continue to provide these services unless somehow we increase the revenue coming in,” Nickolaus told ABC 17 News.
Mayor Struemph will now tweak the details and offer the proposal to city council. Members have until the end of October to pass the final budget.