(AP) - Duluth Mayor Don Ness says his city's budget deficit has swelled to $6.5 million, forcing it to cut up to 217 workers by Sept. 1.
Ness says there's simply no way to balance the budget before the end of the year without laying off city employees.
About three-quarters of the layoffs will come from seasonal and temporary employees, whose jobs were already scheduled to end between mid-August and Sept. 1.
Under union contract rules, temporary employees must be cut before the city can let go full-time, permanent employees.
A representative of the city employee's union says she's been told that 47 union workers will lose their jobs. The layoffs would save $828,000.
Other steps must save millions more. Ness says those include eliminating vacant jobs, lowering energy costs, reducing maintenance operations and selling park land.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)