City of Cosmopolis

2021 State of the City

With statewide restrictions on open public meetings still keeping us from holding in-person meetings that allow for the public to be present, I felt it was important to give an update on where we are as a city.

This year has hit us hard, and there is no easy way to say it. With the extended closure of Cosmo Specialty Fibers, business closures due to statewide restrictions and market conditions, the utility payment and other moratoriums, and numerous other COVID-19 related impacts the city has had to make a lot of tough decisions. This has caused cuts throughout every city department.

Just as many residents have had to eliminate some parts of their lives due to lost revenue in their jobs, the city began making adjustments early knowing that we would see losses. This included immediate cuts in any area that does not have dedicated funds specifically coming into it. In addition, it caused us to severely cut back on park and cemetery maintenance, delay of numerous projects budgeted for 2020/2021, institute layoffs, furloughs, voluntary pay cuts, and deferred wage adjustments that were previously approved, and further reductions wherever possible.

I am abundantly aware that some of these changes have not been received well by many, but the reality is that we cannot fund items when revenue does not meet expectations. When we do have the funds, we will be able to put funding back into those areas.

 

Getting down to the numbers, here is an overview of where we are for full transparency of budget issues.

 

2019

2020

Difference

General Fund Revenues

$2,027,049

$1,511,899

($515,150)

Total Expenditures

$1,821,444

$1,511,387

($310,057)

 

Currently, through the end of May 2021, City revenues are down 12% from 2020 and 27% down from 2019. Thankfully, with the passage of the CARES Act and American Rescue Plan, the City is anticipating $463,944 in relief. These funds are split into two payments. Half of it will be received this summer with the remaining half to be received one year later. Unfortunately, this will still not bring us solvent to pre-pandemic levels.

Despite cuts everywhere, the city has been able to maintain funding all requirements to ensure we stay in compliance, and will continue to do so as soon as those bills are made known. We have had the majority of staff willingly adjusting their routines and budgets to accommodate the changes, most departments have seen staff step up and use personal funds to fill gaps in areas that are not essential yet make working easier, and we have had citizens volunteer their time to assist with landscaping and other projects.

This is not the hardest time that Cosmopolis residents have been through as the oldest city on Grays Harbor, but that does not make it any easier to navigate the challenges. I personally want to thank the residents for bearing with us, and for those same residents and the dedicated city staff for bearing with me.

 

Mayor Kyle Pauley

Dated June 10, 2021

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