It’ll take more than that. One wonders why they haven’t already started cutting. Oh, wait… one doesn’t wonder.
City budget officials are projecting a $30 million budget shortfall in the current year as a range of revenue sources are running close to dry, including hotel room taxes, interest on city investments, and Metro Transit and golf revenues.
Meanwhile, the city has tallied some $3.4 million in costs related to responding to the coronavirus pandemic, including for medical supplies and arranging for possible use of a respite hotel for first responders, according to a Finance Department presentation. An April 7 election that broke records for the number of absentee ballots requested also means the city clerk’s office is projecting a $357,000 deficit.
Unlike many private industries during the first two months of a “safer-at-home” order and business closures, the city of Madison has been among the local government entities that have so far avoided cutting workers’ hours.
In an email Tuesday to the city’s some 2,900 employees, Rhodes-Conway said that is likely to change.
As with any other local government, the vast majority of Madison’s costs are worker salaries and benefits. City budget officials estimate that with the daily cost of paying employee salaries at about $800,000, a furlough program of between four and seven days could save between $4 million and $5 million.