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South Bend to consolidate city positions in light of fiscal cliff

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The city of South Bend is continuing to cut costs ahead of a looming fiscal cliff.

Modest raises and job consolidation is the city’s response to downstate legislation hitting the city’s revenue.

Monday, the common council approved salary and wages for several departments,

The remainder of this year’s leaner budget will be approved at the October 23 council meeting.

“We hope that residents find that with those limited resources, we continue to serve well,” said Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

South Bend is operating as a thinner city nowadays, according to mayor Buttigieg.

That means reducing the number of city positions is inevitable.

“We really want to take a deep dive and make sure we’re replacing positions that are truly needed and not just replacing folks because that’s what we’ve always done,” said Jennifer Hockenhull, the city’s controller.

South Bend leaders wants to make sure it doesn’t fall off the fiscal cliff.

The city expects to lose about $2.4 million in property taxes in 2020 thanks to the circuit breaker tax cap courtesy of the statehouse.

To make up the difference, the city is looking at consolidation.

“Bringing all those particular entities under one center I think makes sense and it should reflect in having more dollars to spend as well,” said Karen White, South Bend common councilwoman.

Of the 300 plus employees working for the city, 10 percent of jobs have been consolidated, reorganized, or created new to take on more responsibilities.

Those positions will see a larger increase in pay than the standard 2 percent raise across the board the council approved Monday.

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