Del Rio City Manager Matt Wojnowski told city council members to begin bracing themselves for decreasing revenues in several areas because of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Wojnowski made his comments about revenue declines during an update he gave on city services and operations during Tuesday’s special meeting of the Del Rio City Council.
The city manager started the meeting with an update on the city’s recent and ongoing activities.
Wojnowski said he planned to meet with Val Verde County Judge Lewis G. Owens Jr. to discuss “any updates to the governor’s strike force to open Texas and determine when and how we could safely and strategically apply this to local businesses here in the Del Rio community.”
Wojnowski said he and the city’s finance department staff have been keeping a close eye on city revenues during the COVID-19 crisis.
“We have been, on a city level, monitoring our revenues. Year-to-date, for our sales tax, bridge and hotel/motel (hotel occupancy tax), we’ve received about $375,000 less, year-to-date, compared to last year, and right now, we’re at about 50% of our fiscal year,” Wojnowski told the council.
He said he and staff have begun discussing the city budget for the 2020-2021 Fiscal Year, which begins Oct. 1.
“We’ll just need to take a hard look, city-wide, to see how we can align our declining revenues and look for efficiencies in all our expenses, especially those divisions and services that are subsidized such as the golf course, civic facilities, parks and rec and the airport. Now is a great opportunity for us to redefine what are the community essential services and priorities,” the city manager added.
Wojnowski said the city will seek some reimbursements for direct expenses related to COVID-19.
“At present we have, expense-wise, from March 13 to April 17, $55,000 in expenses that we will be applying for reimbursement. About $1,000 of that is for masks, gloves and disinfectant. The remainder is for payroll and some improvements at our emergency operations center. That’s a 75/25 reimbursement program,” Wojnowski said.
“We continue to monitor the expenses we can be reimbursed for,” he added.