Furloughs are likely coming for Kansas City workers, as the Kansas City Council deals with the hit to the city budget caused by the coronavirus. But the budget cuts have spared curbside recycling pickup, at least for now. The city finance department painted a grim picture last week, showing revenues in April and May that were slightly lower than their worst-case prediction, which means the city needs to cut about $50 million from the current budget and nearly $60 million from next year’s budget. “Unfortunately, this is not going to be easy for us, and it’s only going to get worse for us as we move forward,” said Fifth District Councilwoman Ryana Parks-Shaw.
To help provide immediate budget relief, the committee passed a one-week furlough for all city staff, with the exception of the firefighters, police, health and water departments. They also voted to expand a hiring freeze of any position making $15 an hour or more. The previous freeze applied to any position making $20 an hour.
Combined, the expanded freeze and the furloughs would save the city $7 million this fiscal year. In June, city departments were asked to cut their budgets by 4.5 percent, which resulted in a potential $26 million in savings. Proposed reductions included personnel and holding off on several proposed development projects.