Nov 14, 2013 1:03 AM by Tony Spehar
Late Wednesday the Pueblo City Council finished drawing up recommendations to make $1.8-million in cuts prompted by the failure of Question 1A, a half-cent sales tax increase not approved by voters.
One of the first recommendations approved by the council was the decision not to fill a number of vacant positions including fire chief. City Manager Sam Azad said the interim fire chief who has been serving two roles in the department since former Chief Chris Riley took over as chief of the Colorado Springs Fire Department agreed to continue serving through 2014.
Under the recommendations several non-profits including the Pueblo Zoo will face a budget cut of at least 5-percent. Funding to the Colorado State Fair will be slashed to $100, 000.
Council members agreed to condense and reorganize some city departments.
One the most controversial issues in the budget cuts was the fate of Pueblo's animal shelter. Leaders said if the shelter's budget was cut it would likely have to close. Council members agreed to meet some of the funding requirements and use money previously set aside for public safety to negotiate with the Humane Society.
Clean-up projects carried out by the Pueblo Health Department will also be curtailed.
Council members also increased estimates of tax revenue for 2014 to make up the difference and reach the goal of $1.8-million.