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Lightfoot Announces $5.9 Million In City Budget Savings

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Tuesday announced that the city has found a way to save more than $5.9 million through revisions to Department of Fleet and Facility Management budget.

The savings come from recycling and energy efficiencies, property management, and equipment savings from the department, according to the Mayor's office.

The savings are one example of the budgeting process now under way, as the city looks to identify more improved and efficient processes throughout municipal government for the FY 2020 budget, the Mayor's office said.

"During this budget process, I've asked each department to closely scrutinize their budgets, line by line to look for savings and cut down on costs that will allow us to operate more efficiently," Mayor Lightfoot said in a news release. "Given the enormous financial challenges we are facing, we are taking advantage of every potential opportunity to generate savings and ensure our government works more efficiently for residents."

As part of the savings plan, up to $2.7 million will be realized through efficiencies as part of the Chicago Smart Lighting program. The program will replace more than 270,000 high-pressure sodium lights that give the city its famous orange hue at night with new and energy-efficient LED lights. The replacements are scheduled to be finished in 2021.

The city will also save $2.6 million by suspending camera installation at non-public city facilities in 2020. Another $416,000 will be saved through the city taking back over property management of the Administrative Hearings complex at 400 W. Superior St. and the Michael Reese Hospital redevelopment site – both of which are now managed by a third-party vendor.

Meanwhile, beginning in 2020, the Department of Streets and Sanitation will begin providing recycling services in neighborhood facilities for a net savings of $145,000. A third-party vendor will continue providing recycling at larger city facilities, the Mayor's office said.

The city will also purchase a salt pile location it has been leasing, for another $120,000 saved.

Earlier this year, Mayor Lightfoot announced the end of short-term borrowing, which is expected to save $22 million in FY 2020 – as well as sweeping reforms to the workers' compensation program for significant additional savings.

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