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Mayor Greg Fischer Newsroom

City to Close for Three Days To Help Manage Budget Shortfall

Friday November 21, 2008

Mayor Jerry Abramson today announced government offices will be closed and all non-essential employees placed on unpaid furlough for three days – a decision that will save about $2 million to help manage the projected $20 million hole in the city’s budget.

Abramson also announced that he and the city’s top leadership team will take a 10-percent pay cut starting Jan. 1, 2009 – a move that will save about $200,000 this year.

Earlier this week, Abramson announced an immediate hiring freeze and restrictions on travel and discretionary spending as the first steps to help balance the budget in the wake of a global economic downturn that’s seriously reducing Louisville Metro’s anticipated revenues.

City offices will be closed on December 26, the Friday after the Christmas holiday; January 2, the Friday after the New Year’s Day holiday; and May 1, Oaks Day. City offices are closed on Christmas Day and New Years Day, which are paid city holidays for employees.

Public safety agencies -- including essential personnel in police, fire, EMS, corrections and MetroSafe – and garbage collection crews will be staffed. All other departments will be closed.

“These are three days that will have the least impact on both citizens and employees,” Abramson said.

The cost savings will come from the three days of layoffs for about 4,500 of the city’s 6,000 employees. Because government will be closed, employees will not be allowed to

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use vacation or personal time for these days, which will allow the city to save about $2 million in personnel costs.

Many employees and citizens who responded to the Mayor’s call for cost-saving suggestions recommended unpaid furloughs.

The closings and the 10-percent pay cut for top city leaders will help the city reduce the depth of service and personnel cuts needed to balance the budget in the wake of a global economic downturn that’s seriously impacting Louisville Metro’s revenues.

However, Abramson said that employee layoffs are among the options still being considered to balance the budget. More spending restrictions will be determined in the next few weeks, he said.

“These are tough economic times,” Abramson said. “But by pulling together, we will get through them.”