Cutting CAT, 8 firefighters, and recycling sites proposed as ways to reduce city's budget


LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- Budget season is here and some departments were taxed with making some tough considerations, including Lynchburg's City Manager, who asked 15 city departments for a submission of ways to reduce budgets in their departments by two percent.

The Lynchburg Police Department said it submitted getting rid of the Community Action Team, but they remain hopeful that this is a program the city ultimately decides to keep.

Lynchburg Police Chief Raul Diaz submitted cutting seven officers and two civilian positions, but he admits, living without would not be a good thing.

"They are the tip of the spear when it comes to community building, and we need them desperately," Diaz added.

The Lynchburg Fire Department said a two-percent cut, with a lean budget to begin with, has to come from personnel.

Interim-Chief Greg Wormser submitted eliminating eight firefighters.

Right now, the department has 179 sworn uniformed firefighters and Wormser said they would have to find other ways to deliver the most efficient service as possible.

"We would not be able to respond to incidents in a nearly quick and expeditious manner as we once could, should those eliminations take place," Wormser said. "We'd have to look at other ways to fill those gaps."

The Lynchburg City Department of Public Works is proposing to cut all seven of their recycling sites.

The Director of Public Works, Gaynelle Hart, said that would save the department about $200,000 and will save an additional $40,000 - $50,000 in disposable costs because those materials potentially could go to the landfill.

Right now, the city has a contract service for people who drive the trucks, so that would be terminated.

If you would still want to recycle, you could hire a private contractor.

Hart said there is a city wide team that is looking into offering curbside recycling in the future.

"Recycling is good for the environment, it keeps those recyclables out of the landfill," Hart added. "I'ts important to extend the life of the current landfill."

Now, it's important to note that these are all just submissions and none of them have been proposed as the plan moving forward.

Lynchburg City Manager, Bonnie Svrcek, will present her proposed budget to City Council on March 13.

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