Last week Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist released details of the plan, which includes several adjustments to the 2020 City Budget. Sundquist is asking the Jamestown City Council to review the adjustments and approve the changes.
“Based on our estimates, the City of Jamestown now faces a potential budget shortfall between $2,000,000 to $4,750,000. These estimates are due to a projected 10%-30% decrease in sales tax revenue, a 20%-30% reduction in New York State aid, and a general loss in miscellaneous City revenue (permits, parking fines, etc.),” Sundquist said in a media release from last Wednesday. “We want to be very clear that these are estimates given current financial information, and like all things during this pandemic, subject to change depending on federal or state funding, budget realignments, or further changes in law.”
WRFA spoke with Jamestown City Council president Tony Dolce on Thursday. He said that the city council’s finance committee helped to create the restructuring plan – which actually focuses on three phases – with the first phase involving a $1.16 million cut to the budget.
“We were very adamant about balancing the needs. We do have services we want to protect, but we also realize there is going to be a significant loss in revenue that will be coming in,” Dolce explained. “To reiterate, there are no full time layoffs [as part of phase one]. Most of the savings come from cuts in each department. Things like overtime in each department, equipment, and services that are not needed right now.”
The first phase of funding cuts doesn’t involve layoffs for any of the city’s full time workers, but does call for the elimination of some part time positions that mostly involve summer help in the Parks Department, primarily with Deithrick Park, since there will be no baseball being played this summer due to COVID-19 and the cancelation of the Jamestown Tarp Skunks’ inaugural season.
If necessary, the council could later this year actor on Phase Two and Phase Three of the plan, which would involve layoffs of city employees. But Dolce says that all hinges on how the revenue comes in later this year.
“It’s kind of as-needed. But we did put a plan together. In case we have to [make additional cuts] we need to be ready to say, ‘Okay, we need to go to the next level’ or ‘Here’s another option.’ So we laid that all out there so at least we’re ready to go if and when it is needed,” Dolce said.
Monday’s special Council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be live streamed on the city website. A work session is also scheduled to take place at 7:30 p.m.