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Salina to furlough some workers, cut hours for others to make up for budget shortfall

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SALINA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Salina City Commission says it needs to save money to make up for expected shortfalls in the budget due to the coronavirus pandemic and the state’s stay-at-home orders.

The City Commission approved a plan to furlough 32 city employees. It will also cut hours for almost 200 more employees by either 20% or 40%.

“We are hopeful that with unemployment compensation from the state and emergency aid from the federal government, our employees should have total income similar to their normal
take-home pay,” said Mike Schrage, Salina city manager, in a news release.

Police, fire, ambulance services and other first-responders are not having their hours cut.

The city estimates revenue could be down as much as $5.6 million depending on how long the pandemic lasts.

The city will continue to offer health insurance benefits under the temporary staffing plan.

“We are doing everything in our power to keep our workforce intact,” said Schrage. “Our employees are our most valuable resource and we hope to be back to full staffing as soon as possible.”

He said the staff plan will be revisited as revenue forecasts are reviewed.

Salina residents may notice some delay in the mowing of right-of-ways, park care and maintenance,
street maintenance, and response times for calls and inquiries to some city departments.

The city says the cutbacks should not affect police, fire or EMT response times.

The budget projections also figured in the elimination of nearly all part-time seasonal employees for the remainder of the year.

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