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Mayors Take Action to fight city cuts

CHAMPAIGN -- State cuts are trickling down and city leaders are doing something about it.
CHAMPAIGN -- State cuts are trickling down and city leaders are doing something about it. Mayor Don Gerard is contacting state lawmakers himself, Taking Action to stop the cuts. WCIA-3's Amanda Porterfield finds out how it could affect the city.

$1.5 million would disappear from the city's budget. That's money city leaders say they count on every year. If it's not there, they'll have to make major cuts from city services.

These letters will soon come across the desks of state legislators. Mayor Gerard wrote them as a plea to not take $1.5 million from city funding.

"We should be a shining example for the state; not one where the state comes to cut us off at the knees."

Mayor Gerard says, if the cuts go through, the city would have to balance the budget by closing a fire station, eliminating 12 police officers or stop repairing neighborhood streets.

"We're facing really deep cuts once again after surviving the recession, coming back and doing really well."

It doesn't just affect Champaign. Governor Quinn is proposing to cut $240 million in tax revenues from municipalities all over the state. The cuts are coming from the Local Government Distributive Fund.

Mike Kirchoff at Champaign County's Economic Development Office says he relies on that money to bring new business to the area.

"There are a number of things that are on our radar this legislative session. This is absolutely one of the things we'll be talking to legislators about."

"When you are coming out of the recession, you need places that are growing, doing well and will create jobs. This is going to stop that."

Mayor Gerard and Mike Kirchoff both say this is on the minds of other leaders all over. They encourage citizens to contact legislators as well.
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