Friday, Wayne County Executive Warren Evans updated the county’s fiscal budget. Before COVID-19, the county expected a $5.7 million surplus. Wayne county is now facing a $152 million deficit because of COVID-19.
Early on, non-essential county workers received paid furloughs dating from March 21 to April 30. Effective May 1, 227 workers have been placed on unpaid furloughs or laid off and over 600 open positions will go unfilled for the forseeable future. Evans expects this to save the county approximately $30 million.
“This is a difficult but necessary step to help balance the county’s budget in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Evans.
Also in response to COVID-19, Wayne county is freezing hiring, contracting, salary, and wages. It is also cultivating a new two-year budget to accommodate the anticipated decline in property tax revenue.
Evans reported more than 220,000 county residents have filed for unemployment. The county has partnered with MEDC to provide some economic relief in the form of small business grants totaling $800,000.
The Michigan Chronicle previously reported expected budget concerns expressed by both Mayor Duggan on the city level and Governor Whitmer on the state level.