Connersville coffers running low


An east central Indiana town says its budget is running dangerously low.

Leaders in Connersville are frantically slashing budgets because if they continue spending as they have been, the city will be broke before a new fiscal year starts in June.

Budget and staffing cuts are nothing new for the Connersville Police Department.

According to CPD Chief David Counceller, "Over the years, we have gone from a police department of 45 officers down to 26."

But during those cuts, the city's population has also shrunk by about 5,000 people. Five factories, including Visteon, have also closed, leading residents to move out of town looking for new jobs. Adding to the problem, the state has set a property tax cap and some other funds won't be received by the city as originally expected.

"We knew something like this would happen, but we didn't think it would happen for another year or so," said Chief Counceller.

Until the fiscal year starts over, the city is in a panic to tighten it's wallet. Chief Counceller said that if one of his officers calls in sick, he can't call in a backup to take their place because they can't afford the overtime.

In fact, all city departments have cut overtime. Police officers and firefighters have also lost their clothing allowance and city projects are on hold.

Still, one resident who spoke with Eyewitness News Thursday said he's confident the city will weather the storm.

"I've always been proud of our police department and they seem to do a pretty good job so I think they'll be okay, but yeah it's a concern," said Terry Groll.

City leaders said that more money will be coming in in June to fix the problem but it won't be a total fix for the overall issue.