RICHMOND, VA - Privatizing fleet management is just one of several cost-cutting measures the City of Richmond may be forced to take as it faces a $30 million budget shortfall, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Mayor Dwight Jones declared an "economic crisis" Jan. 11, announcing a $30 million budget shortfall for the next fiscal year and the possibility of layoffs, agency consolidations, and service cuts, reported RTD.

The $30 million shortfall is attributed to a small increase in city revenues, a much sharper decline in revenues from the state, as well as steep increases in retirement and health-care costs, according to the Jones administration. According to RTD, the figure does not include any shortfall that may affect the Richmond school system, and it represents 4.7 percent of the city's $630 million budget, or about how much is spent annually to operate the sheriff's office and the jail.

A 2007 city audit estimated a potential savings of $4.4 million if the city's fleet-management services were outsourced and other changes were made, according to RTD.

RTD said the City may also consolidate services with the school system and perhaps other agencies, such as the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority and the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority.