The budget will likely be presented to board members via Zoom, but the public hearing may be in person due to the suspension of the Open Meetings Act by Gov. Greg Abbott, which is currently set to end Aug. 10.
City staff took a very conservative approach to next year's budget because of the high amount of uncertainty that comes with the coronavirus pandemic and its economic impacts, City Manager Donna Barron said in the budget proposal.
"Development of the [FYr] 2020-2021 budget has been more challenging than the development of any previous budget I have been involved with in my 30-plus years of municipal government experience," Barron said.
Among the uncertainties are revenue projections, the continued spread of COVID-19, the possibility of a vaccine and its distribution and whether the federal government will continue assisting the economy.
A 10% reduction was requested in all department budgets, with the exceptions of the utility fund and the hotel-motel fund.
Roughly $8 million is expected to be cut from the general fund budget, where salary and benefit costs comprise up to 75% of the budget, according to Barron. A retirement incentive package and the cutting of three full-time staff members led to a 28-person reduction in city staff.
Other steps to save in the coming year might include the conversion of the Fred Herring Recreation Center to a rental facility, reduced hours at the Thrive Aquatic Facility and the library, the closure of the Old Town Aquatic Center and the elimination of some annual events, such as the Red, White and Lewisville fireworks event and the Fall Fashion Festival.
Once property tax values are shared July 25, a tax rate analysis will be included in the budget prior to the Aug. 1 work session.
Details on the expected changes to the budget can be found here as well as on the city of Lewisville website.