Mayor and City Council, City of Greensboro

May 18, 2021

Council Members: Budget development always brings the challenges of balancing needs and priorities with the financial support necessary to provide the quality services expected by our community. The FY 20 21 budget was prepared as the COVID 19 pandemic persisted, and with it so did uncertainty about the impacts on public health and local revenues. Information about the economy and the ability to interact was more limited during the budget development process than ever before. In the midst of such uncertainty and even chaos, the City clung to basic principles for governance, embodied in the C LW\¶V SKLORVRSK\ RI SHRSOH FHQWHUHG GDWD LQIRUPHG DQG SXUSRVH driven service delivery. Within that philosophy, the City made some difficult choices to reduce expenditures, in some cases reducing service and postponing maintenance and other improvements to ensure that the organization could endure whatever economic slowdown COVID 19 would deliver during FY 20 21. The City committed to no layoffs of benefitted positions, not wanting to exacerbate already growing local unemployment. Even as we wondered and worried what the future would bring, the City kept a commitment to increase its minimum hourly wage to $15. 1RZ RYHU D \HDU VLQFH WKH SDQGHPLF¶V RQVHW ZH PDNH SODQV DQG SURMHFWLRQV IRU WKH QHDU IXWXUH SUXGHQWO\ EXW ZLWK VOLJKWO\ P ore confidence. As the future becomes clearer, our guiding principles that were used to navigate through the perils of FY 20 21 remain steadfast for 21 22 and beyond. As the organization resumes its expected level of service delivery, the budget will reflect increases in FY 21 22 that will appear significant. This is largely due however to the restrictive budget that was necessary for FY 20 21. Much of the growth in the proposed budget represents an effort to reinstate reductions in critical areas such as facility maintenance and services as a direct response to the public health and financial demands of the pandemic. This year's budget continues the uniquely challenging situation of the presumptive emergence from a pandemic that has impacted our community health, social interactions, economy, and where necessary, City services. Even after over twelve months of preparation and response to the impacts on the City and its residents, this budget process must grapple with many unknowns. In large part, the budget presented for your consideration looks forward to a community and organization that begins to return to more normal ways of life and service provision, even if it does so with the hesitancy that has proven necessary since the beginning of the pandemic. For FY 21 22, the recommended budget supports these top service priorities, while responding to the many operating needs our organization currently faces. Given the progress made in the fight against COVID, programmatic reductions and delays are largely restored. Over $5 million in programs and maintenance are reinstated in FY 21 22. The recommended budget continues to fund debt service expenditures related to the successful 2016 bond referendum. By the end of FY 20 21, approximately $90 million of the $126 million approved by voters will be spent or allocated. The remaining $36 million in authorized bonds will be borrowed in early 2022. The recommended budget continues progress toward Council's desire to protect and provide for our employees. The FY 21 22 budget includes over 44 positions added to the organization in order to meet operational needs and community expectations. High priority service areas like Public Safety and Community Services include the additional positions necessary to continue progress towards the strategic goals adopted by City Council. For sure, the organization suffered financially, as COVID essentially shut down entertainment venues for a year and several city operations faced economic setbacks. The Coliseum, Hotel/Motel, Parking, Transit, and General Funds all recorded revenue losses. American Rescue Plan funds allocated in late FY 20 21 are available to support local governments in a variety of ways. Thankfully, Council has time for a full and thorough discussion regarding how best to implement these funds. In the short term, I recommend that a portion of these revenues be used to stabilize these impacted funds as we close out FY 20 21 and a portion be used in helping

Adopted 2021-22 Budget


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