Jefferson City leaders to discuss upcoming budget

Mayor Eric Struemph's proposal would eliminate funds for JCTV

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Jefferson City leaders have tough budget choices to make, and the process kicks into gear Monday.

Financial problems have led Mayor Eric Struemph and City Administrator Nathan Nickolaus to propose some controversial cuts.

Some of the proposed cuts have threatened funding for the Jefferson City public access channel, among many other city items.

Under Struemph's proposed budget, JCTV gets nothing.

But Nickolaus' budget proposal calls for JCTV to continue with the same funding it has had: $110,000 annually.

Fourth Ward Councilwoman Carrie Carroll told ABC 17 News it's a tough call.

JCTV helps support the city's belief in open government and Carroll said she wishes there was a way to keep funding it as the city has.

"We want to maintain as much public access as we can, but we also need to balance that with our budget needs," Carroll said. "When we're weighing those pros and cons with other things that need to be funded, it's going to be very difficult to fund, in fact, I don't see how it can be funded at that current level."

Nickolaus told ABC 17 News he projects little or no growth in city revenues.

Carroll and Third Ward Councilman Bob Scrivner said it is still early in the process of budgeting, and Monday's meeting will just be a discussion about the proposals.

"Right now, it will be a lot about prioritizing and looking at the needs and what we have," Carroll said. "There's not a lot to play with. We're just going to have to be really tight, figure out what the top priorities are and how we're going to get those funded."

Another controversial item under Struemphs's proposed budget is not giving pay raises to 425 full-time city employees, which would be the first time in at least 23 years.

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