- Associated Press - Saturday, July 19, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A budgeting error that mistakenly sent $275,000 to the city’s bus system could now benefit burgeoning southeast Lincoln.

City finance officials recently discovered the extra money in general fund dollars that had mistakenly been included in the bus system’s budget, the Lincoln Journal Star reported (https://bit.ly/1qQXnwk ) on Saturday. Because the bus system didn’t need the money, it wasn’t spent.

Mayor Chris Beutler wants the money used to help build a new combined fire and police station for southeast Lincoln. That would provide better fire and ambulance service and help reduce driving time for police officers, Beutler said.

Currently, police officers who cover southeast Lincoln begin their shift downtown, then drive up to 25 minutes to their territory. Officials say having a station in southeast Lincoln would save the city in fuel costs and increase productivity.

The joint station would address part of a larger plan that calls for new fire stations in north and south Lincoln, where response times have grown beyond the four-minute goal during which the odds of saving lives and property are best.

The $275,000 wouldn’t be enough to cover the bond payments for a $5 million building, Public Service Director Tom Casady said. But the city could use the money to select a site, buy some land and prepare for a bond during the next two-year budget cycle, he said.

A public hearing on the proposed budget is scheduled for Aug. 11.


Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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