01STOCK_JANESVILLE_CITYHALL01

The city of Janesville is projecting $719,000 of lost revenue from various programs between March and June because of the coronavirus pandemic, Finance Director Max Gagin reported to the city council Monday night.

Gagin also broke down costs incurred through the city’s emergency response to the pandemic.

The city has dedicated $874,100 to its pandemic response as of Monday.

Of that, $248,100 is for personnel, which is already budgeted for and not considered an additional expense. The city is tracking that cost to monitor how employees are reallocating their time on emergency business rather than regular duties, Gagin said.

The city spent $581,300 on a pop-up medical surge shelter that can provide 50 additional hospital beds if city hospitals fill up.

The remaining $44,700 has gone toward personal protective equipment, disinfectants and other materials, Gagin said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s public assistance program could reimburse 75% of eligible costs incurred. The state has agreed to reimburse 12.5% of eligible expenses, Gagin said.

The city also will receive $100,000 from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act to support the fire and police departments.

Gagin said the city is projecting revenue losses in these categories:

  • Hotel/motel taxes.
  • Community development permit fees.
  • Interest earnings.
  • Parking fees.
  • Police service charges.
  • Fire service charges.
  • Recreation fees.
  • Transit fares.
  • Golf course fees.

The biggest projected loss in revenue is anticipated to come out of fire service fee collections. Gagin expects the city to see a revenue loss of $297,700 between March and June.

Losses include the cessation of hospital-to-hospital transports and fewer overall ambulance fees because of a lower call volume and an increase in Medicaid and Medicare recipients needing transport, Gagin said.

Calls for services are down 20% compared to last year. The percentage of patients needing services who receive Medicaid or Medicare is 60%. Federal caps on Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements lead to the loss in revenue, Gagin said.

The city’s golf courses, even after reopening this week, are expected to lose $165,200 in revenue. Gagin said he does not see a viable option for the golf courses remaining open without help from the city’s general fund.

Transit services are already subsidized by the general fund, but it might need a larger subsidy than expected because of an expected reduction in fare collection, Gagin said.

Closures of recreation facilities and programs are expected to cause a $189,100 reduction in revenue as the ice arena and senior center remain closed and recreation programs are likely to be canceled.

The Janesville Police Department plans to hold off on filling vacant positions to make up for a $78,000 loss in state funding that typically pays for school resource officer wages. Officers are working but not as resource officers since schools closed in March.

Utility revenues are expected to remain steady or increase, but Gagin said there is a concern about collections because individuals are experiencing financial hardship.

Council member Jim Farrell asked when the council could consider budget amendments to help mitigate losses. Gagin said it is too soon to make decisions yet because many factors are expected to change.

The presentation did not include expense projections for the programs.

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