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DWP To Cut $440M From Budget, 3-Year Hiring Freeze

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Los Angeles' Department of Water and Power announced today plans to gut its budget by about $440 million in part by implementing a three-year hiring freeze, effective immediately, in the face of a huge deficit, reports ABC Local.

As many as 500 of DWP's 9,000 employees will not be replaced when they either leave or retire from the nation's largest municipal utility. This substantial reduction in an "aging workforce" is estimated to save $75 million over three years.

"It is a very clear signal that this general manager understands that we're going to have to do everything we can to reduce our costs and our expenses to really give the rate payers of this city the comfort of knowing that we're doing everything that we can to tighten our belt during tough economic times," said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Another $1 million per year savings can also be expected as 44 DWP executives turn in the keys to their take-home cars, notes ABC Local. In an effort to save costs, the DWP will additionally no longer hold the Festival of Lights at Christmas.