(WMC-TV) – A 180-page strategic plan would reconfigure core city services that directly impact Memphians, from changes to police, fire, trash collection, streets, and public buildings.
A two-year study by local civic and business leaders found if the city doesn't change its business model, Memphis will face a $142 million budget gap next year and a $167 million gap within five years.
Talks are underway between Mayor A C Wharton and the Memphis City Council about what to do with the findings and suggestions in the city's new 5-year Strategic Fiscal and Management Plan.
The report says overtime cost taxpayers $100.4 million over five years. That the city over-compensates employees for health care benefits and that required costs for pensions jumped 326 percent over the last five years and will continue to trend up.
The report found golf course costs are higher than their income, and that community center and library use are declining. It also says sanitation uses twice the trucks necessary to collect waste.
The strategic plan calls for the city to take aggressive actions. It calls for a reduction in the number of city employees by at least 150 jobs.
It also calls for a cut of $20.7 million from the police department and $7.5 million to the fire department. It also suggests a reduction in the city's employee pension and health care expenses.
Under-utilized libraries and community centers could be closed and a "Pay As You Throw" trash collection program would be started. Court costs could also be increased. The mayor says they are not asking for a tax increase. The city council has the final say on what stays and what goes during budget season.
The plan will take on many different version before budget season ends June 30.
For an overview of the city's possible business plan, click here.