City of Glenwood Springs cuts revenue predictions by half, announces budget cuts due to COVID-19
Anticipates up to a 50% reduction in its annual revenue for 2020
The city of Glenwood Springs announced budget cuts Thursday in anticipation of up to a 50% reduction in annual revenue for the year.
In a news release Thursday morning, the city explained that the financial toll the COVID-19 crisis has taken on the local economy requires significant budget cuts that include reduced pay for all full-time employees and layoffs for most part-time workers.
All of the city’s 179 full-time employees will be furloughed one day per pay period or have their pay reduced by 10% beginning in May.
Additionally, 66 part-time employees will be laid off effective April 17, the release states.
Seventeen part-time reserve firefighters as well as one part-time employee at the landfill and airport will not be laid off, said Hannah Klausman, public information officer for the city.
“I really do feel for our part-time workers because I’m sure (for) a lot of them this is their second job or one of three jobs that they kind of cobble together,” Mayor Jonathan Godes said at Thursday’s meeting. “It’s not easy for anybody.”
The city is also stopping all 401k contributions beginning May 3 and placing a hold on non-critical projects.
Klausman said city administration was working closely with Glenwood’s police, fire and EMS departments to ensure those critical services continue with minimal impact.
“The fire department is actually one that is taking a 10-percent pay cut instead of furlough days because furlough days would have jeopardized our ability to respond,” said Gary Tillotson, Glenwood Springs fire chief. “It’s the best way to provide consistent coverage for the community.”
City council unanimously adopted the city’s 2020 budget on Nov. 7 — over two months before the first case of the novel coronavirus was confirmed in the U.S.
Including capital projects, the city’s 2020 budget amounts to approximately $90 million.
According to Chief Operating Officer Steve Boyd, the furloughs and pay cuts to full-time employees will save the city $53,750 per pay period, which is every other week.
“What the city staff has sacrificed…they’re incredible,” Councilor Paula Stepp said.
City Manager Debra Figueroa also offered to have her salary reduced by $20,000 or just under 12% of her total $170,000 compensation, which council approved Thursday night at its regularly scheduled meeting.
Figueroa’s pay reduction will remain in effect for the rest of the year, unless the city’s financial situation stabilizes before then.
“We are all in this together and by making these sacrifices as a team, I hope to maintain all full-time employees and rehire our part-time employees as soon as possible,” Figueroa said.
Council also agreed Thursday to take a 20% pay cut until Dec. 31, unless the financial situation improves.
The mayor of Glenwood Springs earns $1,200 a month and councilors $1,000 a month.
Additional decisions to either recall staff to active service, extend the furlough or make layoffs are expected to be made by July 1.
“These cuts are devastating to our employees,” Figueroa acknowledged in the release. “Unfortunately, this drastic reduction is the only way we can remain viable for the long haul and be able to continue to function into the future.”
Thursday night, several council members commended Figueroa for her leadership during the crisis.
“There is no place I’d rather be than here right now with the staff that I have,” Figueroa said at Thursday’s meeting.
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