Lee county budget planners are recommending service cuts, tapping reserves and few if any layoffs to balance the budget for next year.
"I do not anticipate layoffs or furloughs. We can cut some non-core services and use reserves to balance the budget, we believe," said Tammy Hall, commission chairwoman.
The county could face a 60-million dollar shortfall for the next budget year, that begins Oct. 1.
Using reserves could be controversial. Lee has tapped reserves in the past for budget reasons and for the new Boston Red Sox stadium.
One taxpayer, Gerry Simonelli of Ft. Myers, worries about tapping the emergency funds. "They already are predicting a busy hurricane season. If we have a big storm, and we are tapping the reserves again, well that is not a positive thing," he told WINK News.
Commissioners Frank Mann and Brian Bigelow also have voiced concerns about tapping reserves for budget balancing. Mann worries that if the county dips too deeply the next two years, it could wipe out the reserves, and force commissioners to raise taxes.