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Casper’s new chief financial officer starts Monday, as the city manager continues looking for millions of dollars to cut from the budget.

Tom Pitlick served most recently as the finance director for the city of Gillette, Casper City Manager Carter Napier announced Wednesday.

“Tom’s experience as a finance director, particularly in regards to economic declines, will certainly help the city during the challenges we currently face,” said Napier.

Napier, who was hired in June, was instructed by Casper City Council to rein in spending and reduce the approximately $4 million in reserves being used in the budget. Napier also came from Gillette.

Casper’s budget challenges stem from low sales tax revenue and concerns over the certainty of state funding, which may be in jeopardy since the state is continuing to face low tax revenue due to the weak energy market.

Napier announced in July that he planned to eliminate the assistant city manager positions and hire a chief financial officer instead.

“For an organization that is this sophisticated and deals with this many services and deals with the volume of tax dollars that we do, to not have a CFO in my estimation is a huge vulnerability,” Napier previously told the Star-Tribune.

The position was created despite the city’s hiring freeze.

This isn’t the first step Napier has taken to help balance the budget.

A series of budget cuts took effect this month: City employees’ wages were frozen, employees with more than 200 hours of disability time had excess hours reduced, employees are no longer permitted to convert extra disability time to vacation time or the salary equivalent at the end of each calendar year and street sweeping services were moved to the solid waste division.

These changes are expected to save the city about $1,037,000 annually, according to a memo the city manager released.

Katie King covers the city of Casper.

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