Visalia city leaders approved a nearly balanced budget on Monday despite the economic hardships facing municipalities across the state and country as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The $458 million budget covers the next two fiscal years and unlike past budgets required significant revision in the late planning stages, officials said.
Visalia lost an estimated 11% in sales tax due to the economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus, about $15 million in revenue. To balance the budget, staff froze hiring for non-essential personnel, deferred maintenance projects and found other departmental savings.
“We try to make cuts in places where the general public won’t notice them,” said Renee Nagel, the city’s finance director.