Lost revenue, added expenses lead to job cuts in Plattsburgh

Published: Apr. 17, 2020 at 4:44 PM EDT
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The coronavirus isn't just hurting families' bottom lines, it's also draining government coffers. The city of Plattsburgh is looking at a $3 million shortfall.

How did it happen? The city says it's losing lots of revenue from sales tax and parking enforcement collections. The city also expects less state aid this year and for fewer people to pay their property taxes on time.

In addition to losing revenue, expenses are up. The city expects to pay more for health care, personal protective equipment, pensions and IT needs with more people working from home.

So, the city decided to fill that $3 million gap by cutting 61 jobs. Thirty of those people are already not working and will be taken off the payroll. The rest could be furloughed, laid off or forced to job share.

"We just get the process going, we give it to civil service and unions and they really do the rest. They tell us what we can and can't do and who can remain in their job and who will be laid off. We don't identify people, we only identify various positions and then civil services and unions do all the rest," said Mayor Colin Read, D-Plattsburgh.

The city says any employees who are laid off can apply for unemployment. City leaders hope these moves are temporary and say they will reevaluate in a month.