Charlottesville City Council holds virtual public hearing for fiscal year 2020-2021 budget

Charlottesville City Council holds virtual public hearing for fiscal year 2020-2021 budget
Virtual Council Meeting (Source: WVIR)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville city councilors are ironing out the details of the now much lower than expected budget for the fiscal year 2020-2021. Councilors held a virtual first reading for the public to weigh in on what they think should happen with the budget.

Originally council proposed a budget of $196 million but the revised budget is now $191 million.

“This was truly a challenging fiscal year in terms of creating one budget where you think you're going to be able to be done, but you come back and have to do a revised budget,” Charlottesville City Manager Tarron Richardson said.

Some of the top priorities include Charlottesville City Schools and capital improvement projects, but the public also had the chance to express their thoughts.

“I’m hoping that as we move forward when you look at the CIP budget, the other funds that are available for affordable housing that we're prioritizing things in a way that puts ourselves in the shoes that are at 50 percent area median income and below,” Community Member Walt Heinecke said.

Other people say now is the time to think about handling bondable projects.

“This could be a good time to do bondable work because interest rates will be historically low and also those shovel ready projects will bring money into the economy, which is going to be desperately needed," Community Member Peter Krebs said.

Councilor Lloyd Snook says things are difficult because the remainder of the year is unpredictable due to the pandemic impacting tax revenues. “The real issue I still going to be we don’t know what the shortfall in fiscal year 2021 is going to be."

A second reading of the budget will be on the agenda for June 1. Councilors are expected to adopt a final budget by June 30.

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