CORAL SPRINGS, FL – The City of Coral Springs is facing a roughly $5 million budget shortfall related in large part to the coronavirus crisis.

City officials said this week they are looking for ways to cut spending without trimming essential services such as law enforcement, fire rescue, and park maintenance.

“The impacts are not at the service level,” City Manager Frank Babinec said, referring to where he’s envisioning the cuts to be made to an overall fiscal 2020 budget that is $212 million. 

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In late April, Babinec said the city government was making cuts through reprioritizing capital improvement projects, freezing non-critical personnel hiring, and reducing city events.

The budget shortfall, though, weighed heavily on city commissioners this week as they considered spending $212,600 to complete landscape/hardscape improvements in the medians along University Drive.

Commissioners ended up holding off voting on the project until they get more information on alternative ways that the project can be financed.

Commissioner Joshua Simmons said he found it “strange” that the city was looking to spend this kind of money knowing the fiscal challenges facing government.

“At some point, we’ll have to be making tough decisions,” he said.

The issue also came up in May when commissioners began looking at options on how to respond to an anticipated $140,00 budget shortfall at Coral Springs Museum of Art, which the city is helping to finance.

The museum is considering cutting staff and reducing gallery hours when it re-opens following the closing due to the pandemic. Read our story here about the museum’s budget challenges.

Cities across the nation are experiencing similar fiscal problems. In April, a survey found that more than 2,100 cities anticipate major budget shortfalls this year and many are planning to slash programs and cut staff in response.

 

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