The city of Lewisville has already whittled down its staff and is preparing to slash department budgets as it readies for the possibility of an 8.7% reduction in general fund revenue in the 2020-21 fiscal year.
City staff presented the latest budget details to council members Aug. 17 as part of a work session in which Lewisville City Council directed staff to plan for an unchanged property tax rate.
If the budget plan is adopted, the cuts would be felt throughout the city. The Red, White and Lewisville fireworks show would be canceled. So would the city’s Rocktober event and Fall Fashion Festival.
The Old Town Aquatic Center, which did not open this summer during the pandemic, would remain closed next summer as well. Libraries, whose operations have been heavily affected in recent months, would continue to see an impact to their hours.
Under the city’s proposed budget, grant programs for neighborhood revitalization efforts would be slashed—although City Manager Donna Barron told council members that she hopes to bring those programs back in the future.
The city’s biggest areas of cost reduction would be in personnel, road projects and other infrastructure investments. Cuts to these areas account for well over half of the year-over-year savings in the city’s proposed budget.
Lewisville had already taken action to cut personnel costs, declining to fill vacant positions earlier this year and offering some longtime employees an incentive to retire early. Nearly two dozen employees took that retirement incentive option, Barron told council members Aug. 17.
In all, city staff expects to save $2 million in personnel costs and another $3 million in reductions to infrastructure investments as part of the new budget.
Council members told staff to move forward with the current year's property tax rate of $0.443301 per $100 valuation.
The council is scheduled to vote on the 2020-21 budget Sept. 21, followed by a vote on the tax rate Sept. 25.