Foley preparing for 2020 budget shortfall
Foley Mayor John Koniar said the city has not yet seen the effects the coronavirus quarantine wil have on the city’s budget, but that will change at the end of April.
“We believe that in addition to many citizens being out of work and many businesses closed, the near shuttering of tourism related spending will cause these revenue streams to see material reductions,’’ the Mayor said in a letter to citizens and Foley business owners. “We, like you, are unsure of the eventual length of the Stay at Home order,or the effect the pandemic will have on our economy even after it is lifted. But we believe that even in the best case scenario, the city will not meet its original budgeted revenue dollars for the remaining months of this fiscal year.’’
Mayor Koniar said the city is reducing operational expenditures and capital purchases where possible and analyzing forecasted capital projects and delaying those when possible at least until future revenue streams are certain. The city’s essential operational activities will not be compromised. Police and fire protection, essential administrative and maintenance functions, and regular sanitation collections will continue. City staff will continue to provide services via phone calls, emails and at the city hall lobby.
Foley is following closely Gov. Ivey’s Stay at Home order, in effect until April 30 and he has confidence in the governor’s committee that is reviewing steps to re-open the state’s economy. “We anticipate that the governor will take measured steps in any reopening scenario. As a municipality, we stand ready to implement any steps the state determines necessary, and to work with our businesses and citizens to create an orderly and safe transition back to a fully-opened economy when that time comes,’’ he said.
Foley’s library, senior center, Kids Park, and recreational youth programs, other facilities such as Graham Creek Preserve, dog park, municipal parks and farmers market are closed, but the rose trail remains open. “We will continue to focus on the things that provide us the quality of life that we all expect. As we do initiate the reopening of city facilities and programs, we will initiate a plan that takes into account the same type of safety-related data (capacity, social distancing, and personal protection protocols) that the governor’s committee considered in creating their own recommendations to the state.”