Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin says without revenue from a private trash company, the city is looking at major changes to police and fire departments.
The Mayor presented her mid-year budget ahead of a council vote on a special election on trash.
The city is over $1 million in the hole.
And Mayor Swearengin says the city can get off life support in a few years, if the council votes on that controversial special election.
She says without revenue from a private trash company, the city is looking at deeper cuts to police officers, fire fighters, health care... and may even take out a loan.
"I think it's fair to say that it's either trash or public safety and the only place that we have to cut would be public safety and frankly we've already dropped to a very low level in terms of our number of officers," said Mayor Swearengin.
One of the lead opponents in the trash battle... Union Advocate Dee Barnes believes money from trash pick up shouldn't be used to fund public safety.
"There are things the council and the mayor need to look at to really solve the problem of the cost of public safety...if that means a new source of revenue...a true fund stream, we need to look at that," said Barnes.
The council could vote to kill the plan to privatize residential trash. The cost of a special election is estimated at $1 million dollars.
Either way, some council members still believe the city is doing better financially.
"We've heard throughout this whole thing that we're close to insolvency, to not making payroll, to bankruptcy, and then... the forecast is pretty good now," said Councilman Blong Xiong.
Copyright 2013 cbs47.tv Nexstar Broadcasting, All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.