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      Council passes budget cuts, incentive program

      The Jefferson City Council passed budget cuts Monday night.

      The Jefferson City Council addressed the nearly $1.7 million shortfall by approving multiple budget cuts Monday night.

      "It's an issue but we're glad we caught it early in the year," interim finance director Bill Betts said.

      The cuts total around $1.685 million, just over the $1.684 million shortfall.

      "Cut back on some street chemicals, cut back on some street maintenence-type materials, so those were some of our bigger cuts. We also made some cuts to overtime in several of our departments," Betts said.

      Those include the police, fire and public works departments.

      Betts said that he hopes the public won't feel the affects of the budget cuts.

      "Hopefully we won't have any more snow this year, so hopefully we won't notice it in street chemicals and those types of things. We're hopeful that the public won't notice any of these or very limited amounts of this," he said.

      A Separation Incentive Program (SIP) also passed with the budget cuts Monday night.

      The SIP would provide incentives to city employees who voluntarily retire or resign from their positions.

      In return, they would receive sick and vacation leave payout, a $150 per month subsidy for health insurance for six months and a lump sum payment equal to 15 percent of their annual base salary.

      In a close vote, the City Council did not pass a resolution to end contract with Lincoln University for funding for JC-TV.

      In a separate motion to ammend the current contract, the council passed a motion to provide $110,000 annually in funding for JC-TV.

      That amount is currently allotted in the budget, but the amendment would ensure that the city does not surpass that amount.

      Lincoln University also has to agree to the amendment before it is passed.