CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The fiscal year 2021 Casper city budget will be about $20 million dollars lighter compared to the previous year.
The total budget will amount to $132,384,633. The FY 2020 budget totaled $153,025,216.
The decrease comes as sales tax revenues are down as Casper deals with a recent economic downturn due to low oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic.
A smaller budget means projects and services were cut.
“A lot of it was capital, we took a lot of capital out of the way,” Casper City Manager Carter Napier said. “We reduced a significant amount of other operational expenditures. We had to reduce dollars we extended to some of our social service partners.”
Unlike previous years, capital projects, like road constructions, will be budgeted using cash on hand instead of revenue projections. Napier said it’s financially safer but there will be fewer projects taking place.
He said the city’s dropped a number of road construction projects and water and sewer projects. The city is also putting the brakes on building a new police station and replacing fire house 1.
The city is also reducing staff expenditures. Staff members wages are frozen and they’ll be taking furlough days through the rest of 2020.
“To have to see all of our employees take all of these cuts and not have the benefits that they anticipated, that’s not an easy decision,” Napier said.
He called the cuts unfortunate but said the budget is fiscally responsible.
The new fiscal year starts July 1, 2020.