Chico City Council approves budget including cuts to police and fire departments

Chico City Council makes budget cuts to police and fire departments

CHICO, Calif. - After hours of discussion the Chico city council has approved a budget that includes cutting both the police and fire departments.

The city council got out on Tuesday night at 11:30 p.m. Although most of the council said they agreed with the cuts, some said there had to be another way.

The proposed budget from City Manager Brian Nakamura was passed with a five to two vote.

Ann Schwab and Sean Morgan were the ones who didn't agree with the cuts.

The city is trying to close its $4.8 million deficit by cutting the fire department by more than six percent and the police department by 4.5 percent. Some argued that this was not a smart move.

"I think there is a way of managing all of this instead of saying right off the bat, 'Oh, we got to cut these particular amenities like police and fire,'" said Daniel Steward.

"$4.8 million in structural deficits that means each year, we are in the hole of $4.8 million until we can get a handle on our spending problems," said City Councilman Randall Stone.

Stone said the next obstacle the council faces is reviewing the salaries and benefits of police officers and firefighters.

Three other departments will be cut as well. The cuts go into effect July 1.

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