Fort Collins will furlough about 600 part-time and seasonal employees from May 1 through at least the end of June due to closures and other impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
City leaders expect to decide by June 1 whether to extend the furlough period beyond June and whether to make more cuts to the workforce. The recently announced furloughs affect about 23% of Fort Collins’ current workforce of 2,636 employees.
The furloughed employees are part-time, hourly and seasonal staff in Recreation and Cultural Services facilities that are currently closed or that can’t provide programming, according to a city news release. It’s become clear that many of Fort Collins’ public facilities and programs won’t be able to reopen “for some time,” according to the news release.
The city closed facilities to the public March 16 but guaranteed all employees continued pay through April 17, which was later extended to April 30. The furloughed employees’ last day of pay will be April 30, and they may be eligible for unemployment benefits.
“Extended facility closures combined with expected lost revenues led to the difficult decision,” city manager Darin Atteberry said in the news release. “These are valued colleagues that provide programming and support that enriches our community. They are important members of our City workforce, and my heart goes out to them during this unfortunate and challenging reality.”
Atteberry added that city revenues have “dramatically declined” because of local business closures, which have stemmed the flow of sales tax funding to city government. Fort Collins City Council is expected to discuss the coronavirus outbreak’s impact on city finances at its Tuesday work session, which will be live-streamed for public viewing.
Jacy Marmaduke covers government accountability for the Coloradoan. Follow her on Twitter @jacymarmaduke. Support stories like this one by purchasing a digital subscription to the Coloradoan.
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