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Bicknell Facing Big Budget Problems

Last updated on Monday, May 7, 2012

(BICKNELL) - A southern Indiana city tries to find its way out of a big budget problem.

Bicknell officials say they made a series of mistakes in putting together their budget for this year.

The small city will receive much less money than they originally thought. Officials are now making cuts and looking for revenue that can turn the potential for red ink into black.

Bicknell may be a small city, but its budget problem is a big one.

The city is searching for ways to cut spending or add revenue to fix a projected $200,000 budget mistake. The mayor says every department in the city is looking to limit spending.

"They all know we have to cut back and everybody is pitching in," said Mayor Jon Flickinger.

Austerity measures alone won't solve Bicknell's budget troubles. They are going to need some new revenue.

The city council has taken one step by raising the trash sticker fee from 60-cents to one dollar. The city is also looking at the possibility of a payment in lieu of taxes from its own utilities.

"We talked about it, so we've still got several options on the table and we're looking at the best one to start with," said Flickinger.

One project that has been put on hold because of the budget issue is the conversion of the old Casey's store downtown into a new police station.

For now, though, laying off employees is not on the table.

"That will be a last resort, laying somebody off," said Flickinger.

Despite the bleak budget outlook now, city officials say they believe they can work their way back into the black.

"With the cutbacks, and the money coming in now, hopefully we can save enough money to get back in the black," said Flickinger.

A task that will be necessary to keep the small city afloat despite the projections of a lot of red ink.

Besides the increase in trash sticker fees, Bicknell has also raised its large item pick up charge from $5 to $10.

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