HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Hutchinson City Manager Jeff Cantrell says the city council should expect to meet more often to hammer out a budget this year than in the past. Cantrell says, with the ever-changing economic picture, it will be necessary.
“It may be in some scenarios we have budget meetings that are a little bit closer in frequency than what they might have been in years past,” Cantrell noted. “In years past you might have done budget meetings two, two and a half weeks apart. In this scenario, you might do them a week to 10 days apart.”
As far as the numbers for 2021, Cantrell says it will be a tough budget year because of the economic slowdown, but is not sure how much damage will be done.
“The real component for our city is going to be sales tax,” Cantrell said. “That’s what we’re waiting for to see really how hard the hammer’s going to hit. We know we’re going to hit, we don’t know exactly how hard.”
Cantrell says news of a 4% reduction in revenue is probably not accurate.
“I wouldn’t let the 4% reduction in the last report be reflective of any indicative position to take,” Cantrell warned. “It’s going to be worse than that I think . . . from what we’re hearing.”
Cantrell says he wants to set up the budget meetings to coincide with any new information that will come the city’s way. The hope is to not push action on the budget too close to the deadline to have the final numbers in place. The city must have a budget in place by mid-August.