Jim Steinberg, Staff Writer
Posted: 10/06/2011 07:44:41 PM PDT

RIALTO – The city on Thursday laid off 20 full-time employees, the first time such action has been taken in a decade.

Over the past seven years, revenues have increased 6.2 percent while expenses have climbed 34 percent, said Mike Story, city administrator.

“We can’t keep kicking the can down the road,” said Story, adding that even with Thursday’s layoffs, and a variety of cost-cutting measures previously taken, Rialto will need to take $4 million from its reserves to make ends meet this year.

Early next year, there could be 30 more layoffs if there are not significant concessions on retirement benefits from the city’s bargaining units, including fire and police departments, Story said.

“We have a daunting task of what need to be done,” Story said.

Salary and benefits represent 94 percent of the available revenues in the current fiscal year budget and will reach 100 percent next year if no corrective measures are taken, Story said.

The layoffs break down this way:

Six in public works.

One in human resources.

Three in recreation.

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