EVERETT, Wash. – City of Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin issued the following statement in response to the Everett City Council approval of emergency budget reductions, taken in response to COVID-19:
“I am grateful to Council for supporting the very difficult budget reductions presented to them today.
Cities across the country are faced with dire economic realities as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis. Our workers are out of work. Our businesses are closed or operating at limited capacity. These circumstances are collectively taking a toll on the City’s revenue base.
The City is facing a loss in revenue for 2020 that is currently forecast to range between $11.4 million and $21.1 million – and this could worsen.
Today’s actions, painful as they were to make, were very necessary.
The $3.4 million in General Fund reductions approved today reflect cuts in nearly every City department, with especially deep cuts to our Parks and Recreation and municipal arts programs.
They build on cost-cutting measures already taken this year, such as reducing operational expenses and travel and training, and reductions in workforce through voluntary separation, furlough or layoffs.
Though it’s tremendously difficult to lose valuable team members, shutter popular services and cancel fun summer events, these sacrifices are necessary to protect the City’s financial viability, and ability to deliver its core services. It is our hope that by acting quickly now to reduce losses, we can minimize the need for more drastic changes in the future.”
Emergency budget reductions include, but are not limited to:
- Forest Park Swim Center will remain closed until further notice.
- Carl Gipson Senior Center will remain closed until further notice.
- Eliminating recreation programs, including, but not limited to: the Animal Farm, fitness and wellness classes, softball and baseball leagues, and sports and summer day camps.
- Eliminating the annual Viva Color flower program and reducing the Jetty Island program.
- Discontinuing a significant portion of municipal arts events and programs, including, but not limited to: the Fourth of July parade and festival, Music in Parks, Cinema under the Stars, Word on the Street, and Street Tunes. Annual arts grants will be suspended.
- Reducing library services.
- Reducing labor and maintenance and operations costs.
For a complete list of emergency budget reductions, community members can view a recording of the April 22 council meeting and the meeting agenda at everettwa.gov/council.