University Park budget troubles force village layoffs

Mar 2, 2016

The Chicago suburb of University Park's budget troubles have forced it to lay off about two dozen workers, including police officers.  The cuts include the southern suburb's Riegel Farm, where 150 animals were being moved and the facility closed.

University Park acting village manager Johanna Townsend says the cuts are being made "so the village doesn't go broke." The layoffs are affecting every village department.  Townsend says the financial problems have been going on for years and the village "can't continue this way anymore."

The police department will lose three full-time officers and four part-time officers. However, University Park Police Chief John Pate says basic patrols won't be reduced.

Mayor Vivian Covington calls the cuts a "temporary fix" but says "it's going to take years" for University Park to get out of financial trouble.