The Vail Town Council will review updated budget projections, recovery plans and other related matters during its Tuesday, June 2 meeting as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the town’s operations and overall economy. The discussion is listed as item 1.5 on the afternoon meeting agenda which begins at 3 p.m. The meeting will be live streamed at www.highfivemedia.org/live-five.
During the meeting, Town Manager Scott Robson and Finance Director Kathleen Halloran will lead a discussion on updated economic indicators and a recommendation to transition to the “crisis” phase of the town’s recession plan. In this phase, town revenues are projected to drop a total of $15.3 million, or a 21% reduction from the original budget. Sales tax collections are estimated at $16.8 million, a 41% drop from budget and 43% from the prior year. Additional reductions are also being made to the other major revenue sources, such as lift tax, parking and construction related revenues.
Despite the uncertainty in revenue, the town will continue to provide core services while summer services will be adjusted based on anticipated visitation levels as public health orders are updated over time.
Reductions to offset the revenue of $15.3 million will come from the following:
- Savings in staff vacancies, wage freeze, hiring freeze and furlough of summer seasonal employees, $2 million
- Operational savings across all funds, $2.1 million
- A 30% estimated reduction in special events funding, $864,000
- Deferred capital spending, $25.4 million
- Use of general fund reserves, $6 million
- Use of reserves for Community Relief Funds, $500,000
The 2020 budget had included provisions for a phased recession plan at various levels of revenue shortfalls: significant, major and crisis. The recommended crisis adjustments are included in a supplemental budget ordinance that will be considered by Town Council at the evening meeting.
Other updates taking place during the afternoon meeting include a series of economic recovery initiatives facilitated by the town’s Economic Development Department and the newly formed economic recovery team which is comprised of members of the Vail Economic Advisory Council and includes representatives from retail, restaurants, lodging, health and nonprofit organizations as well as Vail Resorts, Vail Valley Partnership and Vail Chamber and Business Association. The team is building on Eagle County’s economic recovery efforts and the work of the Vail Valley Foundation’s industry task forces. Updates will be taking place in the categories of:
- Expansion of restaurant and retail premises
- Allowing consumption of alcoholic beverages in designated public places
- Relief programs
- Special events
- Business toolkits and PPE
- Donovan Pavilion proposal
- Vail Local Marketing District summer marketing
To review the staff memo on the town’s relief efforts and other agenda items for the June 2 meeting, visit www.vailgov.com/agendas. Public comment will be accepted via email until noon on June 2 at firstname.lastname@example.org.