In Jackson, City Hall, and city parks are going to look a little emptier. This comes after leaders made the difficult decision to cut $2.6 million from the cities budget due to financial uncertainties surrounding Covid-19.
“The city leadership really thought it was important that we prepare for the worst case scenarios, and prepare for big reductions in tax revenue,” said Public Information Officer for the City of Jackson, Aaron Dimick.
The reductions are all to maintain that essential city services continue during this pandemic. Major cuts include the cancellation of all summer parks, and recreational programming, as well as laying off 18 city positions from various departments such as City Hall, and the Jackson Police Department.
“Really what this is about is we don’t want to let our employees go permanently. We don’t enjoy laying off people. This is nothing that we take pleasure in, but unfortunately something we have to do because there are just so many unknowns,” said Dimick.
There is some good news. The city hopes to use $300,000 in federal Covid-19 relief funding to help prevent foreclosures, evictions, and water shutoffs.
“We have so many people in Jackson who already live in poverty that when you take away income, and you add more of a financial strain it can really just send them over the edge where they can’t afford their water bill, or they can’t afford their mortgage payment, or their rent payment.
The city hopes this money can help keep people in their homes, and keep them safe.