BROKEN ARROW, OK -- The economy in crisis is forcing Broken Arrow's city council to cut dozens of vacant positions in order to plug a $2 million budget deficit.
During a meeting Tuesday night, the council opted to cut positions instead of laying off workers.
But while the move will save jobs for city workers, it comes at a cost for Broken Arrow residents.
The city council voted to raise utilities rates across the board.
Broken Arrow citizens will pay more for water, trash and sewer. City officials say it will cost the average customer another $15 a month.
"I understand the city needs to cover at least their costs. And I hate for the citizens in these tough times to have to spend more money, but hopefully it's not an amount that will put the squeeze on someone," said Broken Arrow firefighter Tim Heaps.
The city council voted to eliminate 48 vacant positions, including seven at the fire department.
Those cuts are expected save the city of Broken Arrow about $2.5 million.