Manhattan may find itself with empty fields and courts next year.
City officials are now proposing 5-10% budget cuts for all city departments to avoid eliminating youth and sports in 2021, but some programs are still on the chopping block.
Officials had told Manhattan city commissioners June 30 that the city might have to cut parks and recreation programs in 2021 as the city grapples with budget shortfalls because of the coronavirus pandemic.
City commissioners didn’t like that idea, so officials are now proposing across-the-board cuts. But that means some rec programs, youth and adult sports leagues, could still be cut.
“Some of that may stay there in (the parks and recreation department’s) proposal for the 5% or 10%,” said Jason Hilgers, deputy city manager. “More than likely it will be on the recreation side, but we’ll have to wait and see what they come up with.”
All city departments will present 5% or 10% cuts for the 2021 budget July 21 to the Manhattan city commission. City commissioners will discuss potential cuts to the parks and recreation department during this time.
The parks and recreation program will present 5% or 10% cuts across the board as well and keep a lot of ideas previously presented to cut to the commission.
“With everybody at the table now with 5% or 10%, parks and rec won’t be saddled with the full $1.3 million,” Hilgers said.
City officials compiled $1.3 million in reductions in services and personnel in the parks and recreation department for 2021, which the commission discussed during a June 30 work session.
The city is anticipating a $1.5 million shortfall in 2021, or a 5% revenue decrease, because of the coronavirus outbreak, officials said.
“We’ll also talk about, again, whether you’re cutting services, transferring funds or raising taxes,” Hilgers told The Mercury on Thursday. “One of those three levers, you have to pull, or all three of them, or two of them, or whatever scenario you want to come up with.”
The city will have a clearer picture on their options come July 21, Hilgers said.