Staunton officials to provide budget update to City Council

stauntonStaunton City Council will receive an update concerning the FY2021 Budget at its meeting on April 9.

The related agenda briefing is available online as part of the City Council package. 

The following are highlights from that briefing:

The FY2021 Budget as initially presented to City Council on March 26, will be need to be significantly adjusted to address the impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency.  Although all data is not yet available, it is certain that the City’s revenues will be negatively impacted and modifications, both before and after the budget is adopted, will be required.  Strategies for responding to the unanticipated revenue challenges in the FY2021 Budget are being developed and will be reviewed with City Council over the course of upcoming work sessions and public hearings.

City officials have acted with urgency to address fiscal challenges even as final revenue projections are being developed, with a focus on reducing departmental expenditures as follows:

  • Department heads have been directed to impose a hiring freeze and freezes on operating and capital expenditures for the remainder of the current fiscal year, FY2020, with limited exceptions.
  • For FY2021, department heads have been requested to review their department’s entire operation and identify total operational reductions of 5%, 10% and 15% as a proactive measure to identify potential savings.
  • The City’s Chief Finance Officer is meeting with individual department heads to review their FY2020 budgets to identify further cost saving opportunities in the current fiscal year that can potentially cushion impacts in FY2021.
  • The FY2021 budget calendar has been adjusted to afford staff additional time to assess the fiscal effects of the emergency and provide ample feedback opportunities for the public and work session time with City Council to revise the budget.

City officials are implementing new tools and technologies to allow involvement in the upcoming budget process in the absence of traditional public meetings and public hearings.

Up to date information on how the public can observe and engage in the budget process can be found at ci.staunton.va.us/government/city-council, and city officials strongly encourage Staunton residents to stay active and informed as important financial decisions are being made to guide the City’s future.

         
 

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