La PORTE — The City of La Porte conducted its 2020 Budget Workshop at City Hall on Monday, before its regularly scheduled City Council meeting.

Over the past year the city has had a 3.5 percent increase resulting in $367,122 in new money. However, the Clerk-Treasurer’s office is currently estimating around $3.3 million in circuit breaker losses (tax caps). This equals around 24 percent of the operating budget.

In order to fund the 2020 budget, appropriation reductions were necessary for the 2019 budget.

“We work on a yearly budget, however, the budget is actually [for] 18 months, so these [reductions] would be for the latter half of this year. In order for us to approve the budget for next year, these reductions have to be made so that the funds will be available [to use in 2020],” said Councilman Joe Mrozinske.

The funds that were recommended for reduction were as follows: General — $292,000, Park & Recreation — $97,350, Kiwanis-Teledyne — $4,051, Civic Non-Reverting — $93,000, Beechwood Non-Reverting — $2,037, Cumulative Capital Development — $75,000, Fire Pension — $30,000 and Police Pension — $10,000.

The city is also planning to put other cost-cutting measures into place. According to the Clerk-Treasurer's office the city plans to re-align Administrative Assistant and Office Manager salaries making them more balanced according to their assigned duties.

There are plans to do away with a Project Manager position in the Engineering Department and replace it with both an Administrative Assistant and a part time Engineering Technician. The two added positions will cost the city less than what it would cost to pay a Project Manager.

The city will also be removing two Crew Chief Positions with the Park and Recreation Department and create a Deputy Maintenance Foreman position, resulting in less total money being paid out to employees, saving the city money.

Additionally, a representative from the Clerk-Treasurer’s office noted that there will be a 2 percent salary increase across the board to the City Council.

A resolution authorizing reduction of 2019 budget appropriations was introduced and unanimously passed by the council.

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