Pataskala City Council agreed Oct. 20 to trim another $500,000-plus from the budget if the income-tax issue fails Nov. 4.

Pataskala City Council agreed Oct. 20 to trim another $500,000-plus from the budget if the income-tax issue fails Nov. 4.

Cuts include discontinuing the parks and recreation department, cutting one person from the planning and zoning department, cutting two people from the public-service and street department, suspending road resurfacing and suspending capital-improvements projects except those with grant funding.

Council already has agreed to cut $63,500 by limiting snow removal to major collector and arterial streets, only plowing in subdivisions during declared snow emergencies in 2009, and suspending repair and replacement of streetlights in 2009.

Councilman Bernard Brush continued his objections to making cuts prior to the election.

"The public knows we're considering these cuts, but I think it's premature," he said.

Council President Barbara Triplett voted against the motions to cut personnel and to cut the parks department, but she defended council's actions to make the cuts.

"The finance director and city administrator are putting together a budget, and I think they need to know what they aren't going to have to work with and what they are going to have to work with," she said.

Council declined another suggested cut that would save $200,952: to reduce police-department staffing from 21 to 17.

Issue 12 is a 2-percent income tax with a 1-percent credit for people who work outside Pataskala and already pay an income tax elsewhere. It is expected to collect $2,864,491 at full collection.

Council also agreed Monday to keep the police department in the former town hall on Main Street. Council approved a motion to leave the police department in the existing building, with Triplett abstaining and Councilwoman Pat Sagar dissenting.

Council has discussed moving the department into City Hall on Broad Street because the existing building on Main Street needs many repairs. The cost to move the department, however, has kept council from taking action, even after police officers had agreed to do some of the renovations to City Hall.

Two weeks ago, after being told he would have to pay rent to the city, police Chief Chris Forshey told council he would rather use his budget to pay officers.