Philadelphia has seen many bright days in the past few weeks, but storm clouds will undoubtedly form over City Hall Thursday.
Mayor Michael Nutter is set to address the citizens of Philadelphia about the city’s financial crisis by television around noon Thursday.
In September 2008, the mayor announced that the city was facing a $450 million budget deficit over the next five years, but that number has almost doubled in the past two months to $841 million.
Nutter cites the recent economic crisis in the national and international economy as the reason for the jump.
“Businesses have not been doing as much business as they have been doing, therefore they pay less in taxes. We collect less and so therefore we have less money,” Nutter said Wednesday while leaving a closed door meeting with 17 City Council members at the Municipal Services Building.
Officials have been quiet about what city departments will get the knife, but recreation centers and libraries are rumored to be at the top of the list.
Also, city workers are waiting to hear how many job cuts will be part of the money saving plan. Sources close to the situation are expecting as many as 250 job cuts, in addition to leaving 500 unfilled positions vacant for the foreseeable future, according to philly.com’s Ben Waxman.
All city departments will take a hit including the Free Library, the Department of Recreation, and the Fairmount Park Commision. Homeowners will be bagging their own leaves instead of enjoying mechanical pickup, bulk trash pickup will end, and side streets will remain unplowed unless they see at least 1 foot of snow, according to Philly.com.
Still only the mayor, his cabinet and a few members of City Council know exactly what is in store.