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Without a bailout, city is heading for hard times

Unless Congress allocates money to bail out states and municipalities, things are going to get rough in Hamtramck.
Rough, as in, expect massive cutbacks in city programs and city employees.
At a recent Hamtramck City Council meeting, City Manager Kathy Angerer alluded to this.
She was forced to furlough 27 employees – 10 full-time and 17 part-time – to alleviate the city’s growing financial crisis.
With businesses shut down and people in semi-quarantine, city revenue came to a crashing halt. On top of that, the state expects a huge decrease in promised state revenue that is shared with communities.
Hamtramck is already in a budget deficit, and that was expected to continue. Now, it’s a deficit on steroids.
Angerer said that unless a miracle happens – such as a congressional bailout – city hall will have to be restructured. Reading the tea leaves, one can only come to the conclusion that the temporary city furloughs will become permanent for some.
In the meantime, Angerer and her staff are assembling a budget for next year. At this point, it’s probably going to upset a number of people. There is no way the city can avoid making massive cuts.
Unless, Congress steps up. At this point, that action is uncertain because Democrats and Republicans are split over whether to lend a hand to struggling states and cities.
Republicans are resisting an aid package.
But things are fluid, and a change of direction is possible.
One thing does persist, though: Hamtramck is far from being out of its ongoing financial crisis. Our pension and health costs are overwhelming the city’s financial abilities.
Like we said last week, tough times call for tough decisions.
Posted May 15, 2020

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