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Posted on: April 21, 2020

CITY HALL BRACES FOR FINANCIAL IMPACT OF COVID-19 CRISIS

The City of Hutchinson’s General Fund Balance is projected to decline by $1.3M for the remainder of 2020 largely due to a drop in sales tax revenue in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. City Manager John Deardoff, working closely with department heads, has developed a measured approach to addressing the inevitable financial impact.

“We are fortunate to have a strong fund balance, which we have made a priority in recent years. While that exists for unexpected downturns like this, it would be irresponsible to rely solely on that reserve while so many others in our community are tightening their belts,” Deardoff said.  “That fund will absorb some of the impact, but we want to make sure to maintain some cushion for the future.”

Phase I was implemented on March 30 and included a reduction of seasonal labor and a hiring freeze in select departments.

Phase II is set to be implemented on April 26 and includes work schedule changes to reduce public safety overtime, further seasonal reductions, voluntary furloughs, and travel restrictions.

Phase III will begin June 1, if deemed necessary based on the financial impact at that time. Any combination of the following may be implemented:

  • Reductions in work schedules excluding public safety operations
  • Temporary salary reductions for executive, management, and professional staff.
  • Long-term furlough/layoff in departments whose workload has been impacted.

In a recent letter to employees, Deardoff said, “These are crazy times. Working together will ensure that all vital municipal services will continue to be delivered to our community with as little interruption as possible.”

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