COVID-19 crisis forcing many Ohio communities to cut budgets, furlough workers

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – The COVID-19 crisis has weakened healthy budgets in many Ohio communities.

“Just in the month of April we lost over $3 million in revenue,” said Lakewood Mayor Meghan George.

Mayor Frank Jackson says Cleveland has also lost millions of dollars in the past couple of months due to the COVID-19 crisis.

“And as we look at the income tax in April it has decreased,” Jackson said Friday during a telephone conference with local media.

For continuing coverage about the coronavirus pandemic, including the latest on Ohio, head here.

While Cleveland has not furloughed any employees, many other cities have laid off workers, including Lakewood, Olmsted Falls, Fairview Park, and Cleveland Heights.

Lakewood started a voluntary furlough program this week.

“So far the feedback has been positive we have had over 60 employees apply for the program.,” Mayor George said.

Several city leaders say they may need federal assistance , especially if another stay at home order is implemented.

“We will be able to sustain that for a while but no municipality can sustain millions of dollars of losses a month,” George said.  “We  can`t do this very long . We need help from the federal government to local municipalities, Lakewood is not unique to this, we all need help .”

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