FY 2021 Fair Budget
WHY IS HAZELWOOD RUNNING OUT OF MONEY?
Like many cities across the country, COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on the City of Hazelwood’s funding. Revenue has declined an estimated 15% due to the COVID-19 economic downturn. Hazelwood has already lost $1.5 million in what was budgeted for 2020 through the end of June, 2020. We estimate an additional $4.2 million loss in FY 2021, for a total of $5.7 million.
But even before COVID, Hazelwood was facing a major economic crisis years in the making because decreasing City revenue was not keeping up with growing City expenses and payments.
HOW ARE HAZELWOOD CITY SERVICES FUNDED?
Hazelwood gets 40% of its revenue from various sales tax, 16% from property taxes, 16% from licenses and permitting, 10% from utility tax and 18% from all other sources, including revenue from parks and recreation programs. Except for a spike in the general fund after voters approved various sales tax increases, Hazelwood has seen a downward trend in the general fund starting in 2008.
HOW DOES HAZELWOOD SPEND ITS MONEY?
The graph below shows a breakdown of Hazelwood’s services and expenses in the current 2021 budget.
RISING COSTS IN FY 2021
Hazelwood was already expecting a $900,000 increase in fire protection district payments for the fire service in Robertson and Florissant Valley districts for FY2021. In addition, Hazelwood expects a 20% increase in health insurance costs and a 15% increase in work compensation/liability insurance for all personnel, including fire and police.
TRYING TO FIX THE SITUATION
Hazelwood took action to cut costs even before COVID-19 hit, in anticipation of some of these budget deficits earlier in the year. Hazelwood saved $1.3 million this year by:
- decreasing personnel costs, including a 15% decrease in administrative costs;
- taking out planned 2021 cost of living increases for Hazelwood employees;
- eliminating 11 positions that were unfilled; and
- suspending capital projects in 2020 and 2021.
As COVID-19 progressed, Hazelwood enacted an employee furlough plan on April 23 which included the following savings:
- Six full-time, 35 part-time, 15 seasonal part-time, and 65 pool part-time employees will be furloughed for a minimum of 10 weeks
- 55 employees furloughed one day a week, resulting in a 20% pay cut for 10 weeks
While these measures have been in the right direction, these cuts will not yet make up for the current deficit
PROBLEM: HAZELWOOD NEEDS TO CUT SERVICES OR RAISE NEW REVENUE - BOTH
Hazelwood City Council is legally obligated to pass a balanced budget by the end of the current fiscal year. Therefore, Council has difficult decisions to make about potentially adding new revenue streams, reducing and/or eliminating city services or a combination of both.
Some Hazelwood expenses and payments, including payments to fire protection districts for fire service, are outside of Council’s control. These payments make up 21% of Hazelwood’s budget. The following proposed cuts and revenue options impact the 79% of services and expenses that City Council can control.
The following charts show the list of potential city service cuts that would help Hazelwood balance its budget. There are over $3 million in proposed cuts but City Council only needs to cut $2.2 million.
|City Manager||Layoff communications intern||$12,315|
|City Manager||Eliminate pool party||$2,500|
|City Manager||Eliminate newsletter||$16,000|
|City Manager||Eliminate ICMA conference||$2,000|
|IT||Cancel City Clerk agenda program||$5,000|
|IT||Eliminate color laser jet printer||$1,196|
|Finance||Eliminate credit card usage||$10,000|
|Finance||Eliminate GFOA national conference||$2,050|
|Legal||Eliminate MACA conference||$1,000|
|Courts||Eliminate MACA conference||$1,350|
|City Clerk||Eliminate quarterly codification||$6,000|
|City Clerk||Cancel SLCML dues||$7,125|
|Police||Eliminate tuition reimbursement||$38,000|
|Police||Eliminate attendance at diversity job fairs||$4,250|
|Fire||Eliminate repl. items for office & living area||$12,000|
|PW Admin.||Eliminate nuisance abatement||$25,000|
|PW Admin.||Eliminate APWA national conference||$2,500|
|Garage||Eliminate APWA national conference||$2,600|
|Park Maint.||Eliminate APWA national conference||$2,500|
|Parks & Rec.||Eliminate Inclusive Rec. Coordinator||$2,250|
|Parks & Rec.||Eliminate funding to Hazelnuts||$3,450|
|Parks & Rec.||Eliminate mailed brochures||$11,000|
|Parks & Rec.||Eliminate fireworks||$24,000|
|Parks & Rec.||Eliminate swim instruction||$5,000|
|Parks & Rec||Eliminate food truck nights/concerts||$5,000|
|Parks & Rec.||Eliminate summer camps||$13,227|
|Parks & Rec.||Eliminate NRPA national conference||$2,700|
|City Manager||Combine with Finance Dept.||$198,496|
|Police||Layoff audio-visual tech||$60,195|
|Police||Layoff animal control officer||$61,417|
|Police||Eliminate 1 vacant police officer position||$78,071|
|Police||Layoff D.A.R.E. officer||$47,384|
|Police||Reduce REJIS charges||$64,000|
|Police||Layoff 15 police officers||$1,289,824|
|Fire||Layoff Deputy Fire Marshal||$94,886|
|Fire||Eliminate minimum manning||$236,830|
|Fire||Layoff 3 firefighters||$226,537|
|Fire||Reduce 6 captains to 3||$12,595|
|Garage||Eliminate vacant MWI||$48,949|
|Garage||Layoff Public Works Secretary||$65,483|
|PW Admin.||Layoff 2 Code Enforcement Officers||$119,617|
|PW Admin.||Layoff Code Enforcement Secretary||$48,460|
|Park Maint.||Eliminate vacant MWI||$48,949|
|Park Maint.||Reduce road salt usage||$32,500|
|Parks & Rec.||Eliminate Senior Bus||$30,429|
|Parks & Rec.||Close Civic Center East||$238,609|
|Parks & Rec.||Eliminate non-revenue programs||$33,000|
IN THE FAIR BUDGET SURVEY, YOU WILL HAVE THE CHANCE TO COMMENT ON SOME OF THE PROPOSED SERVICE CUTS AND REDUCTIONS AND/OR NEW REVENUE OPTIONS.
WE NEED YOUR HELP
Hazelwood City Council would like to hear residents’ perspectives about potential options to increase revenues and/or reduce or eliminate city services. Share your input by completing the Fair Budget Survey, leaving a question or comment to Hazelwood City Council and telling your friends and neighbors to check out the Fair Budget website and survey.
Complete the Fair Budget Survey by Tuesday, June 2 11:59 pm in order for consideration during June 3 Hazelwood City Council Meeting.
JOIN US AT THE VIRTUAL COMMUNITY BUDGET MEETING
WEDNESDAY, MAY 27 AT 7:30PM
Register by clicking the link below
WATCH THE RECORDING
If you would like a Fair Budget Survey mailed or emailed directly to you, please click the button below or call Becky Ahlvin at (314) 513-5018 to share your name, mailing address or email and number of surveys requested.
All survey responses must be received by June 2 at 11:59 pm in order for consideration during the June 3 City Council meeting.