NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Officials with the City of North Charleston say they will be laying off more than 115 part time employees because of how COVID-19 has impacted the city.
Those being laid off work in public activities and services that are unable to be offered during the pandemic, according to city officials. In addition, 15 full time positions will be eliminated and 50 vacant positions have been frozen.
The city said these personnel expense reductions result in an estimated $6.8 million in additional savings.
“To responsibly continue to provide necessary municipal services to our community, the city has made difficult, but necessary adjustments,” officials with the City of North Charleston said.
In a statement released by the city, capital and operational expenses have also been reduced by $5.5 million throughout all departments to focus on essential costs to maintain vital municipal services.
“The city will continue to monitor the ongoing impact on its operational budgets set forth by these extraordinary circumstances and will continue to provide the most efficient services possible under these budgetary constraints,” city officials said.
City officials said the pandemic forced the city to adopt a budget in June at a level consistent with last year’s budget of $127 million which resulted in initial cost reductions of $6 million.
“Faced with additional budgeted revenue losses, ranging from $10 to $15 million, given current estimates for the fiscal year, the City has proposed various adjustments in expenses to offset losses,” city officials said.
“The City of North Charleston’s budget has been and will continue to be negatively impacted by COVID-19,” city officials said in a statement. “Historically, residents’ property taxes are kept to a minimum due to the City’s alternative, economy-driven revenue streams of hotel accommodations taxes, sales taxes, and business license and permit fees. Prior to COVID-19, property taxes accounted for only 46% of the City’s overall budget. Our local business community has been hit hard by the pandemic, and therefore, the City’s budget and projected revenues have been heavily affected.”