City of Albuquerque faces budget shortfall due to COVID-19 crisis | KOB 4

City of Albuquerque faces budget shortfall due to COVID-19 crisis

Chris Ramirez
Updated: April 17, 2020 05:27 PM
Created: April 17, 2020 03:49 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a budget problem for the City of Albuquerque.

Mayor Tim Keller said Friday that the city is facing serious budget shortfall that could last through 2021.

However, he said the city is taking immediate steps to lessen the impact of the budget crisis:

  • The city is limiting all hiring-- with the exception of public safety
  • All travel for the remainder of the year is canceled
  • All city contracts with vendors are being reviewed and cut if necessary
  • And the mayor has ordered his department heads to find cost-saving measures

The mayor is hoping the city will receive about $150 million in federal relief aid to help plug that city's budget shortfall. However, the money is not guaranteed.

The mayor said if federal help does not come, the city will likely resort to furloughs, layoffs and cuts to city services.

"You might see it in operating hours, whether it's at libraries or zoos," Keller said. "If they are hourly employees, that is something we can shrink to help compensate. You might see it in fewer bus routes. We'll always prioritize public safety, so as of today, I don't think there will be any changes in that world. You may see less Summerfest events, or no Summerfest at all.

The mayor added that the city could be forced to dip into its reserves if it does not get federal help.

Keller said he is hoping to have more direction from the federal government in about two weeks.  

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