From the desk of City Manager Sarah Purdy...
April 21, 2020
Sometimes it’s hard to believe it has only been about six weeks since everyone started focusing in earnest on COVID-19. At times it seems more like six months.
Recently there have been news reports about our City government needing to cut services and programs due to loss of sales tax revenue caused by the COVID-19 shutdown. The April 6 City COVID-19 Update referred to economist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman comparing our economy to a patient with a traumatic brain injury who has been placed into a coma to reduce the swelling. Mr. Krugman stated that, just as the patient being brought out of the coma is monitored to assess functions and capabilities, so our economy will need to be monitored to gauge what recovery strategies are necessary.
The April 6 COVID-19 Update went on to say “It is not too soon, however, to start planning for if and how we all reopen. In terms of City services, City Comptroller Tim Johnson and I are looking at what revenues we expect will not meet projections in the current fiscal year, and what adjustments will need to be made to the delivery of City services. New information is still coming in daily. We will analyze it, and I expect to make a first presentation to City Council about what we recommend at Council’s April 27 meeting.”
There is no doubt that budget reductions will be necessary. The City of Ogdensburg is by no means the only municipality that will need to make adjustments. It’s even possible that more than one set of adjustments might need to be made during the course of this year as we see how the economy fares.
This is not going to be easy. Options will be presented to our City Council, and your input will be valuable. It may be that different alternatives are requested as a result of discussion and of your input. It may be that decisions are made in phases. But it is even more true today than it was on April 6 that the time to start strategizing is now, and at next Monday’s City Council meeting.
Be hopeful, stay safe, stay healthy and stay together yet six feet apart. “Take 5 for New York” by calling someone and chatting for five minutes. To access the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department’s information please go to the County’s website at www.stlawco.org . In addition, here are links to several other sources of COVID-19 information that you may find useful.
Department of Labor Cares Act Information
US Small Business Administration
St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency
Governor Cuomo’s Website
New York State Department of Health
Protect Yourself & Stop the Spread of Germs
What You Need to Know
Please revisit this page for important updates from the City of Ogdensburg.