Ruston has trimmed its workforce by about fifty positions over the past two years, Mayor Dan Hollingsworth told the Board of Aldermen yesterday in a special meeting. However, there were no “layoffs” of employees during that time.
Said Hollingsworth, “We have a lot fewer employees today than we had two years ago. The fact that this year’s budget we’ll have almost fifty less, and that’s a significant figure. Nobody got discharged because of that – it’s simply retirement and attrition.”
Hollingsworth said the rapidly increasing cost of the city’s portion of employee retirement (from about $475 thousand in 1999, to about $2.5 million this year), coupled with no growth in sales taxes, made the cutbacks necessary.
The remarks were made at the meeting that was called to discuss the proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning October 1.
See here the proposed budget for 2014-2015.
Compare to the budget for 2013-2014.
In other business, the council approved a resolution to rent a building on West California Avenue, that had been the location of a bank and credit union. The location is needed, Assistant City Administrator Ed Pittman said, to house the city’s Customer Service Department (now located on the City Hall’s first floor) while that area is renovated. The department serves Ruston’s water and sewer utility customers.
Pittman said they will explore the possibility of purchasing the building and foregoing some of the City Hall renovations, if that is economically feasible.