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Fort Worth Gets Jump On Difficult Budget

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By BJ Austin, KERA News

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kera/local-kera-889337.mp3

Dallas, TX – Tuesday, Fort Worth City Council members get a first look at the challenges in the 2011 budget. KERA's BJ Austin reports.

The ink on a difficult 2010 budget was barely dry when Council members turned their attention to next year. In January, the Council listed priorities for funding in the 2011 budget - which is already facing a 10 to 30 million dollar shortfall.

The priority list is public safety and health; essential services; and complementary services. Tuesday's discussion will be about where city services fall on that list. Jason Lamers, with the city, says an example of the discussion could be "libraries" and where do they fall? Are they essential or complementary?

Lamers says this is a new budgeting process for the city, and council members want to begin now. In his recent State of the City Address, Mayor Mike Moncrief acknowledged balancing the 2011 budget will be tough because cuts and layoffs the previous two years have pared spending to the bone.

Email BJ Austin