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Battle Creek Faces Budget Gap As COVID-19 Lowers Revenue

A picture from a low angle of Battle Creek City Hall. A historic marker is in the foreground.

The COVID-19 shutdown is hitting the City of Battle Creek’s budget. City Manager Rebecca Fleury says the Battle Creek is facing a roughly $800,000 shortfall before the new fiscal year in July. The pain will continue in the next budget, when the city expects an almost $5 million loss in taxes, revenue sharing and fees.

Fleury says the city is cutting services, including in the police department.

“We’re going to be focusing on strictly calls for service,” she said, “Which means a loss to our police cadet program, our police explorer program, our Citizens’ Police Academy and some of the community services that we reach out to through the police department.”

Fleury says the city has less income tax to collect and the state has less revenue to share.

“There are still a lot of decisions to be made by the city commission. This is a tough budget to have to put in front of them,” she said.

The Commission is holding a virtual budget workshop next Thursday at 6 pm.
Fleury says the city is furloughing some workers and cutting executives’ pay by 3 percent this fiscal year.

Sehvilla Mann joined WMUK’s news team in January 2014 as a reporter on the local government and education beats. Before that she covered a variety of topics, including environmental issues, for Bloomington, Indiana NPR and PBS affiliates WFIU and WTIU. She’s also written and produced stories for the Pacifica Network and WYSO Public Radio in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Sehvilla holds a B.A. in French from Earlham College and an M.A. in journalism from Indiana University.
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