FARMINGTON — City officials are preparing to tackle a $4.4 million budget deficit.

Over the next four months, Mayor Tommy Roberts, city council members and city staff will trim, tweak and adjust the budget until the gap between langushing tax revenues and expenditures for everything from road maintenance to parks programs is closed.

The city will host two "Community Public Input Sessions" as part of the city's fiscal year 2014 budgeting process. The first session will be Tuesday, March 19, at the Bonnie Dallas Senior Center from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The second session will be Thursday, March 21, at the Farmington Public Library from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

"We're going to have some significant challenges," said Mayor Tommy Roberts. "We're looking at a fairly sizable deficit, and we want to provide an opportunity for citizens to provide input on what they consider to be essential services versus nonessential."

Although final budget decision are months away, layoffs, furloughs and reductions in service levels all are on the table as possible ways to balance the budget, he said, adding that those options are generally a last resort.

A raise in the tax rate to generate more revenue could also be on the table, Roberts said.

The public input sessions have been well attended in the past, said Bob Campbell, assistant city manager.

"Sometimes when the public recognized that there were tough times ahead, attendance has been good," Campbell said.


"I would encourage folks to attend because the city has some tough decisions ahead. This is their city government."

For additional information on the sessions, call City Manager Rob Mayes at 505-599-1100.

Greg Yee may be reached at; 505-564-4606. Follow him on Twitter @GYeeDT