Tag: city budget
Budget draft looks ahead to Rocktown High’s opening. Plus, find out what the new school’s mascot will be.
The first draft of the next year’s city school budget calls for a 7.47% increase, mostly to cover effects of inflation and other rising costs, as well as to prepare for the opening of Rocktown High School in fall 2024.
Larry Propst, by his own admission, is not an economist. His job, as city director of finance, is to help set the city budget — he calls it “entirely different” from the work of an economist. And on March 14, 2020 — a Saturday — Propst watched as the city of Harrisonburg declared a state of emergency as COVID-19 spread nationwide. Over the next several months, Harrisonburg administrators — Propst’s office included — would watch the city’s finances plummet as tax revenue from restaurants, hotels and other businesses shriveled. Within weeks, millions of city tax dollars vanished.
Those who work and live in downtown Harrisonburg may soon need to find creative places to park or might need to buy a permit because most of the city’s 10-hour parking spots are slated to disappear by mid-August.
About a half-dozen snows — plus some sleet and ice — this winter have maxed out Harrisonburg’s quarter-million-dollar budget for winter weather, including for snow plowing and road salt.
Harrisonburg sanitation supervisor, Patrick Garrison, said he has witnessed and experienced the dangers of physically picking up trash over the 22 years he has been at Harrisonburg Public Works.
A pandemic and protests have ramped up interest in city budgeting. Here’s The Citizen’s guide to Hburg’s spending
Continue with the plan for building a second high school? Reduce funding for the police department? The combination of the pandemic’s economic ripple effects and calls for social change out of this summer’s protests have sparked questions and deep-seated opinions about how the city of Harrisonburg spends its money. Residents have been bringing up budget issues in city council meetings, at rallies for racial justice and on social media.
The city of Harrisonburg expects to take a hit of about $6 million in the next fiscal year that begins July 1, mostly in lost revenue from local taxes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the Harrisonburg City Council unanimously approved an amended budget that reduces spending for schools, public safety and public works.