More cuts coming to Omaha's 2009 budget

Omaha, NE – A wage freeze and delaying a police recruit class are among Omaha Mayor Mike Fahey's recommendations to close a budget gap.

At a news conference Thursday, Fahey announced that the 2009 city budget now has a $14 million total shortfall. Six million dollars in cuts were made to the budget last December. Since then, sales tax revenues have come in short of expectations for four out of the five months of 2009.

Fahey says a wage freeze would save the city $4.9 million. Any wage freeze would have to be approved by union employees. Without it, Fahey says the city faces layoffs.

Other recommendations include cutting the library and the parks and recreation budgets. If that happens, library hours could be reduced. The city also plans to close two swimming pools early.

Fahey says the gap in this year's budget is $5.5 million as of now. He says sales tax revenues are down seven and a half percent.