TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)__With a final vote on the Topeka's 2014 budget just a week away, council members are trying to chop away at what began as a $5.6 million deficit.
Topeka City Council members say they want to find ways to put Topeka in a more financially responsible situation.
With just 12 days until the budget must be filed with the City Clerk it was time to finalize a plan.
A new Topeka fire station will still be built near 6th and Fairlawn, but council members tonight decided to use existing equipment and staff to put it into service.
The move cuts two million dollars from the 2014 budget and instantly drops the tax levy by 2 mills.
Topeka financial consultant Jeff White was happy with the progress, saying, "Its a balancing act, we started out with a deficit roughly $6 million and thanks to council action, it is now half of that."
A balanced budget is still a ways off, the current plan still has a $2.8 million deficit, with the mill levy raised 4 mills.
Before budget talks, council members voted 6-2 to approve demolition of the Harrison Church at SW 16th and Harrison, an issue they deferred six months ago.
City Planning Director Bill Fiander said the building was far beyond repair and they were left with no choice, saying, "The building was a historic monument and it's sad but that would be a very large project for anyone to undertake and that what I think happened."
Demolition of the project will cost $100,000.
The council also voted 6-3 against reducing funding for the Community Resources Council with Campos, Ortiz and Schwartz voting to reduce funding.
City council members plan to vote on a final budget next Tuesday.