Phoenix faces budget deficit, looking at where to make cuts

PHOENIX - If you live or work in Phoenix, get ready for deep budget cuts that could slash jobs and cut city services.

Phoenix is facing a $38 million deficit. Officials say they overestimated how much money the city would be taking in.

To make up for the loss the city is considering plans to reduce services in fire, police and court departments.

They are also looking at closing 13 full-service community centers -- Beuf, Deer Valley, Desert West, Devonshire, Eastlake, Longview, Maryvale, Mountain View, Paradise Valley, Pecos, South Mountain, Sunnyslope, and Washington -- and seven smaller drop-in neighborhood centers -- Verde, University, Sunnyslope Youth Center, Playa Margarita, Marc Atkinson, Hayden and Harmon.

The proposed closure list also includes recreational swim and dive team programs at city pools, closure of Pierce, Holiday and Telephone Pioneer pools, closure of two summer recreation centers: Barrios Unidos and Holiday, and elimination of supervised activities at the Rose Mofford and Encanto sports complexes.

"It's a good place for the kids, I don't think they should shut it down, honestly," said Daymeyan Burton, who plays basketball at Maryvale Community Center several times a week.

Also facing cuts may be street repair and maintenance and the graffiti cleanup program.

Three pools could close, along with three senior centers.

“We were arguing it was going to be 7 1/2 percent and really most other Valley cities were arguing about 3 1/2 percent, that’s about where we’re at,” said Vice-Mayor Jim Waring. “If we hadn’t overestimated the revenue, the folks who did vote for the budget last year wouldn’t have overestimated it, we wouldn’t be in this situation at all.”

There will be several hearings in April where the public can get their voices heard.

See a schedule of the hearings here.

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