Denver’s 2021 finances proposes tens of millions in cuts, extra furloughs for metropolis workers


Denver officers proposed tens of millions extra in cuts for subsequent yr’s finances Tuesday morning, alongside much more unpaid worker furloughs and smaller investments in social providers and modifications to legislation enforcement practices.
In all, Mayor Michael Hancock’s proposed 2021 finances initiatives a $1.33 billion common fund, down 10.6% from the unique 2020 finances, which tanked sharply in March because the coronavirus pandemic hit Denver. The almost 800-page doc now goes to Metropolis Council, which is able to maintain finances hearings, tweak the doc and undertake a closing model in November.
The pandemic induced a finances shortfall this yr of about $220 million, Denver’s Chief Monetary Officer Brendan Hanlon stated Tuesday morning, and the anticipated income hole subsequent yr is estimated at $190 million. In its first yr, the financial injury was worse than that of the Nice Recession in 2009, although Hanlon famous that recession continued to hit Denver for about 5 years and the length of the present downturn stays unclear.
The town took a considerable hit Monday when the Nationwide Western Inventory Present canceled its January 2021 occasion, suspending till 2022 and taking an estimated $120 million regional financial enhance with it.
The present finances proposal is predicated on a comparatively steady, or bettering, pandemic outlook, Hanlon stated.
“All of those numbers don’t assume a resurgence within the latter a part of 2020 and 2021,” Hanlon stated. “If that have been to occur, we must come again and additional revise these numbers.”
Whereas the proposal doesn’t embody layoffs, Hanlon stated workers shall be requested to take between six and 9 unpaid furlough days to save lots of an estimated $12 million.
These furlough necessities shall be based mostly on earnings, stated finance division spokesperson Julie Smith. Workers making lower than $52,000 a yr will take six furlough days whereas mayoral appointees will take 9.
Earlier this yr, town’s division heads have been requested to suggest 11% in finances financial savings for subsequent yr, lots of which have been accepted for the finances draft.
Off the bat, town anticipates about $39 million in financial savings by maintaining greater than 400 vacant positions unfilled, Hanlon stated. Different reductions embody $14.5 million generally fund assist to the capital enchancment program, $9.6 million in fleet substitute, $7 million from fewer new hires for police and hearth departments and a $3.2 million in decreased additional time for public security companies, he stated.
As well as, town expects about $7 million from expertise gear, undertaking and licensing financial savings, $4.5 million from vacancies within the Sheriff’s Division and $3.2 million from maintaining the jail inhabitants low, Hanlon stated.
Whereas the proposed finances is rife with cuts, there are some investments as properly, he stated. The administration is planning an extra $11.5 million for behavioral well being and legal justice reform. It additionally contains an additional $1.5 million for homeless encampment outreach, providers and housing and $5 million for a brand new homeless shelter, amongst different issues.
It is a growing story and shall be up to date. 


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