Casper looking at cutting $15-20 million from FY 2021 budget

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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Casper City Council members had a special work session Monday to talk about the fiscal year 2021 budget. The new fiscal year begins July 1, 2020.

Casper City Manager Carter Napier proposed reducing next year’s budget by $15-20 million compared to this fiscal year.

Potential cuts include keeping outdoor swimming pools closed. Napier said COVID-19 restrictions may keep pools closed anyway.

Council members also discussed furloughing city employees and not filling unfilled positions. They also discussed potentially cutting the payment to Spectra Venue Management, which manages the Casper Events Center and the lodge at Hogadon Basin Ski area, by around 20 percent.

Despite those proposed cuts and many others, at least one council member is concerned whether they’re enough to balance the budget.

“We really need to think, ok, you know, we can kind of adopt something like the budget that’s proposed here but were going to need to be, in my opinion, looking at even more drastic cuts and a lot of other things, more imaginative ways of saving money,” Ward I Councilman Mike Huber said.

The proposed cuts come as the city projects sales tax revenues will decline around 20 percent due to economic impacts from the coronavirus crisis and low oil prices.

Council members will have their normal meeting Tuesday at 6 p.m. They will have another special budget work session Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. Both meetings are closed to the public due to COVID-19 health restrictions. They can be seen on the city’s YouTube page and on cable television.