FOLEY - Earlier this year, Foley council approved a forecasted change in budget due to shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Directors and city staff came together to create a projected change in …
FOLEY - Earlier this year, Foley council approved a forecasted change in budget due to shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Directors and city staff came together to create a projected change in budget the city could potentially see due to lost revenue.
While projected losses were close to $6 million, actual losses currently are closer to $5 million.
“The percentages look pretty rough, but that’s when comparing them to the original budget,” said City Administrator Mike Thompson. “If you compare these numbers to the forecast approved recently, we’re actually about a million dollars better year-to-date than what that forecast was projecting for revenue. That means March and April weren’t as bad as we thought they were going to be in terms of worst-case conditions.”
Along with sales tax, gas tax has also taken a hit due to the shutdowns and less visitors coming to the area during the spring season. May revenues are expected to increase, with most businesses reopening during May.
“I think that what you’ll see in May, June, July, and August is that we’ll be down from the budget, but we’re not going to be as far down as we initially anticipated, and that’s because a lot of our businesses, even though they’re open at 50 percent capacity, they’re open,” Thompson said. “Anybody driving on Highway 59 can see that the tourists are here. They may not be going out as much as they normally would on their vacations so I think we’re going to be down, but I don’t think it’ll be as much as we originally thought.”
“Because we balance our budget and keep a reserve amount of money designed for tough situations, we’re going to come through this,” said council president Wayne Trawick. “We’ll be hurt, but we’re not going to be dead. Some cities out there that are irresponsible and spend more than they can take in, they’re in the hurt locker when something like this happens. But while we’ll have to cut back on things, we’re not going to suffer. The police department is not going to suffer, the fire department is not going to suffer, they’re going to get pretty much everything that they need. I commend these guys for working these budgets and keeping them in line.”