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Springfield Considers Possible Budget Cuts

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/springfiel_1690.mp3

The possibility of a budget crunch has prompted the city of Springfield to look at what areas could be trimmed in next year's budget. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

There are two areas of concern when it comes to the city budget. City spokesperson Louise Whall explains.

As a result, city departments are evaluating areas to cut back, if that becomes necessary. Whall says the departments have the ability to choose what gets cut.

Departments citywide are looking at possible ways to cut back.

Chief of Police Lynn Rowe explains what the cuts would mean for his department.

Painful, Rowe says because such cuts would mean decreased services for city residents.

And he says a decrease in services couldn't come at a worse time. He says serious crime is on the rise: 2007 ended with the highest reported rate of crime since the department began keeping track. What's most disturbing is that violent crime is on the rise, a pattern that Rowe says is similar to what happened more than a decade ago.

At this point, city spokesperson Louise Whall says any budget cuts are merely a possibility and are far from a done deal.

She says if there's a need to raise revenue for the police and fire pension, there's a possible source of income.

The city begins its budgeting process in March.