Saturday, April 27, 2002

Cape Girardeau finance director John Richbourg unveiled the proposed fiscal 2002-2003 budget to the Cape Giradeau City Council Friday morning as part of the council's annual retreat, which took place at Black Forest Village.

The budget didn't include any cuts of major programs. So for at least another year, the average resident shouldn't notice any difference between the city services that are offered now and the city services that were offered five years ago when the city and economy were booming.

But as current poor financial circumstances persist, broad services cannot continue, city leaders say. Ultimately, if additional revenue is not obtained, city services will have to be cut.

City manager Michael Miller and mayor Jay Knudtson both say the morale of the city's employees is declining because they often work in facilities that are too small or with equipment that is too old.

Sunday's issue of the Southeast Missourian will examine the current state of Cape Girardeau's finances, how they have been formed and some of the ideas that are beginning to take shape as avenues to resolve the problem.

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