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259 could be laid off in cash-strapped North Las Vegas

Updated Tuesday, May 17, 2011 | 9:32 p.m.

North Las Vegas budget

KSNV coverage of approval of North Las Vegas budget, May 17, 2011.

The North Las Vegas City Council approved a $504.9 million budget proposal during a special three-hour meeting Tuesday night that could result in laying off more than 250 city employees.

The vote on the fiscal year 2012 budget was 4-1. Mayor Shari Buck was the sole dissenter.

The city faces a larger budget shortfall next year — $30.3 million — than initially anticipated, after state projections showed higher-than-expected losses of federal funding after the U.S. Marshals moved 250 inmates from the North Las Vegas Detention Center to a new facility in Pahrump.

Previously, the city had estimated a $22.6 million budget gap.

The elimination of some 259 full-time positions would affect about eight non-union employees, 154 Teamsters, 40 firefighters, 43 police officers, five Police

Supervisors Association members and nine temporary employees. The layoffs are expected to save the city $27.9 million.

The final number of layoffs, however, could be reduced if additional concessions are made by the unions.

With the council’s approval of the city’s third Budget Reduction Program on Tuesday night, North Las Vegas will have eliminated 892 positions since fiscal year 2009.

The pink slips are expected to be sent out in the next three to four weeks, city officials said.

In addition to the layoffs, the city will establish spending freezes, a 15 percent health insurance premium increase for city employees, as well as implementing 10 furlough days with no holiday payout.

The plan is expected to meet the short-term goal of leaving 6.2 percent of the General Fund budget in reserve. If the city were to fall below a 4.1 percent ending fund balance, the state could take a closer look at the city’s finances to see if it is making prudent financial decisions, city officials said.

The proposed budget, which is due to the state by June 1, will provide for the opening of the SkyView multi-generational center and the transition to a new City Hall. In addition, the budget will help keep open two of the city’s four pools this summer and pay for the maintenance of 3.5 miles of new trails.

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