But one item was more than Mayor Jay Knudtson was willing to accept. The idea? Eliminating one of the about 15 Cape Municipal Band concerts supported by city taxpayers. The projected savings, $1,500, isn't enough to justify eliminating the well-attended shows, he said.
In fact, Knudtson said if the cut had to be made to avoid spending city money, he would provide the $1,500 from his own pocket.
"It is symbolic of the tough times we are in, but we are not there yet," Knudtson said.
Cape Girardeau is trying to cover an expected shortfall of $661,000 between anticipated revenue and the cost of continuing city business unchanged in the fiscal year that will begin July 1. In addition, interim city manager Ken Eftink is urging that the council find $200,000 to begin replenishing the depleted operating reserve.
When Ward 1 Councilman John Voss suggested that money could be raised by "passing the hat" and asking audiences for donations, Knudtson said that would send "a bad message" about the city.
The Cape Municipal Band plays at special events, such as Memorial Day and Veterans Day observances. It also plays a regular weekly concert on Wednesday evenings from June to August in Capaha Park.
"The municipal band is the last bastion of apple pie, Chevrolets and small-town America," Knudtson said.
The proposed cut, however, was never supposed to have made the list, Eftink said Tuesday. Each city department was asked to identify cuts equal to 3 percent of its budget, and decisions were made on every separate budget account.
The band stands alone, and the only cut available was a concert. The $1,500 for each concert pays a stipend to each band member for rehearsal and the performance.
"What we were looking at was cutting in every area, and that is the one item in that area," Eftink said to the council.
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401 Independence St., Cape Girardeau, MO
Capaha Park, Cape Girardeau, MO