Town trims $2.7M from current budget in anticipation of ‘unprecedented revenue decline’

JACKSON, Wyo. — Town manager Larry Pardee admitted it was the first budget amendment ever that featured a decrease when the town council agreed Monday to accept a budget resolution to trim $2.7M from the final two months of the FY2020 budget.

The amount in savings was a result of nifty number-crunching by town accountant Kelly Thompson, who was able to reduce expenditures and shuffle funds in nearly every department in light of reduced revenues already taking a toll on local governments throughout Wyoming.

“We’ve had to rethink who we are, how we operate, and how we spend money and collect revenues. The world has changed overnight and we need to reassess, quickly,” Pardee told the council Monday night.

To get to June 30 in solvency without pay reductions or layoffs other than seasonal START employees and others who would have likely had little work in the off-season was an “extraordinary feat,” in the words of councilman Jonathan Schechter.

“It took an incredible commitment of the staff to do what it takes to help serve [the town council] and the community. Next year will be even a bigger challenge,” Pardee said.

Substantial reductions in lodging and sales tax is expected to hit the town hard in FY2021, which begins July 1, 2020. Budget talks will dominate the month of June coming up.

Actions taken for the remainder of FY20 include:

  • All vacant positions being frozen with the exception of sworn law enforcement.
  • All non-pledged expenditures being frozen or significantly reduced save those that address continuity of government, necessary maintenance of fixed assets, and construction projects currently underway.
  • Service reductions and reductions in seasonal staff related to START Bus.
  • Reassignment of duties of specific START Bus employees to cover only necessary time and tasks related to supervision, driving, bus cleanliness, and support duties resulting in further reductions in seasonal staff.
  • Temporary reduction of PTO buyback from 40 hours to 24 hours.
  • Postponement of applicable capital projects.
  • Postponement of information technology hardware and software upgrades save those related to continuity of government, telework, and financial controls.
  • Postponement of vehicle acquisitions.
  • Call for voluntary reduction in hours for non-exempt employees.

Actions currently being considered by Town Manager for remainder of FY20 include:

  • Early retirement incentives and inducements to leave the organization for those not eligible for retirement.
  • Furloughs (temporary unpaid reduction in hours or elimination of hours) in Departments and positions with less service demand.
  • Layoffs (reduction in hours or elimination of hours) in Departments and positions with less service

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