Tag: city budget
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.
Residents find outdoor refuge in city parks, but Westover pool and other rec facilities’ reopening remain uncertain
While the Parks and Recreation Department has kept open access to trails and fields on its properties, its programming has shifted online and other oft-used facilities, such as the Westover skatepark and all the parks’ playground equipment, remained locked or roped off. The Parks and Recreation department is also unsure as to how and when certain facilities will open up, including the Westover Pool. Parks and Rec employees plan on discussing that in meetings this week.