The past year has been challenging for many communities as they dealt with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their budgets.
But Macomb City Administrator Scott Coker told aldermen Macomb is in better shape than he thought it would be.
"A year ago, the pandemic starts. Nobody knows what's going to happen. We were seeing revenue expectations being down 30% to 40%," Coker said.
"We haven’t seen it that bad."
Coker said $887,000 in CARES Act funding helped the city. He also said Macomb has been as conservative as possible with its spending, and always estimates low on revenues and high on expenses when putting together its budget.
Coker’s proposed budget for next fiscal year estimates Macomb will spend more than it takes in by around $1.2 million. He said the city will use reserve funding to cover the difference, which would leave the city with more than $5 million in reserve at the end of next fiscal year.
“We feel it’s still a healthy reserve,” he said.
Coker said the outcome of the census is a big unknown factor for the city. Macomb’s population is currently listed as 21,516 but that is expected to drop once the numbers are released in September. “We’ve built the budget on an estimated 16,000 citizens,” he said, calling it a conservative number.
Coker said the new budget includes a 2% cost of living adjustment for employees. He does not anticipate reducing the size of the city’s workforce - he said that has already been done in recent years through attrition. “We’re already at bare bones in most of our departments,” he said.
The proposed new budget must still be approved by the city council.
Macomb’s fiscal year begins May 1.
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