PROVO — City Councilman Steve Turley says Provo employee layoffs are still on the table in the 2010 fiscal-year budget he proposed Friday.

"This budget proposes to allow each department head the discretion to use layoffs and/or furloughs to meet targeted objectives," Turley wrote. "To not consider layoffs and/or furloughs is to pull 90 percent of the budget-reducing options off the table."

Instead, Turley is proposing a reduction in "a few staff positions" that he says would provide all remaining employees opportunities for cost-of-living pay increases, market-rate adjustments, sick leave buy-back and longevity pay.

His budget also would allow for new hires in the police and fire departments, which the council rejected.

Council Chairwoman Cynthia Dayton issued a press release Thursday saying no council member would formally propose layoffs or furloughs as a way to balance the troubled budget. Mayor Lewis K. Billings asked for no layoffs in his budget proposal.

Dayton's spokeswoman, Terry Ann Harward, said layoffs and furloughs lack council support.

Turley says his proposal would reduce general-fund expenses and eliminate fund transfers from reserves while proposing no tax increases.

Both the mayor and council budgets included transfers from the enterprise or utility funds. If those transfers are necessary, Turley proposes they be considered interest-bearing loans.

The city also needs a contingency plan for iProvo, which it sold to Broadband. The high-tech Internet and television system cost taxpayers $13.5 million, for which Provo is liable, Turley said. Broadband has been making payments out of its security fund, which is nearly half gone, Turley said.

The council will meet to finalize its $156 million budget at 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 351 W. Center.

"Provo's budget is no different than the budget of its citizens," Turley said. "We must tighten our belt, and we'll all just have to do without."

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