Roswell’s proposed 2021 budget includes around $1.6 million designated to financial uncertainty after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roswell city council conducted the first reading of the proposed budget for fiscal year 2021 over a virtual council meeting May 26. The FY 2021 Proposed Budget of $144,162,305 is a decrease of $8,202,527 or 5.4% from the FY 2020 Approved Budget of $152,364,832.

According to the New York Times, the Gross Domestic Product for this year’s second quarter is expected to decline by 30%, on track for the largest decline since 1946. The New York Times also state that it will take around one to two years for the economy to completely recover from COVID-19.

Roswell is issuing a hiring freeze across departments and reducing part-time employee expenses by 78%. The city will also refrain from giving out salary increases.

Council members also approved the re-appropriation into FY 2021 of FY 2020 unspent funding in the General Fund in order to establish a General Fund Fuel and Utility Contingency in an amount not to exceed $150,000.

Marcelo Zapata, Christine Hall and Mike Palermo proposed changes to the budget, including a compensation increase for police officers. The E-911 Fund is $2,759,209 and the three council member proposed a $132,000 compensation increase. They also proposed adding two full-time station captain positions in East and West Roswell, as well adding a city economic development position for $140,000.

The second budget reading is scheduled for the June 8 council meeting.

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