Tag: city budget

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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.

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Facing $6m budget hit, city council makes cuts to education, public safety and public works

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.

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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.

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As pandemic’s fiscal impact becomes painfully clear, city announces layoffs and other cost-saving measures

By March 13, when the health department announced Harrisonburg’s first positive test for COVID-19 and local schools were on a one-day closure that soon extended through the academic year, it was clear that the pandemic’s effects on public health and the economy would be dramatic. On Monday, city staff put some first numbers to that bleak picture in a late-afternoon press release: local tax revenue will fall an estimated $4 million short of projections for this fiscal year, which ends June 30.

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City’s trend of COVID cases improving, but officials remain concerned about vulnerable populations

Harrisonburg could be seeing “the light at the end of the tunnel” in the rate of COVID-19 infections, the deputy emergency coordinator reported to city council Tuesday. Meanwhile, state health officials are considering making available locality-level testing data.

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All hands on deck: Inside the city’s response to COVID-19

Each Tuesday and Thursday morning, Helmuth and City Manager Eric Campbell hold a conference call with the heads of every city department to provide updates and share how the pandemic is affecting their work. It’s one of the many ways COVID-19 has affected — and changed — city government.

Possibly delaying the new high school by a year hints at the city’s tough financial decisions to come

Harrisonburg leaders are looking at a starkly different financial reality now than they were less than four months ago when the city council approved the $100 million needed to build and open a second high school, which has the Harrisonburg School Board considering a one-year delay of its construction.

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