CONNELLY: City of Greenville in hiring freeze, looking at nearly $4.5 million budget shortfall

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Greenville Mayor P.J. Connelly says the city is struggling with the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Connelly told WITN the city is under a hiring freeze. This means they will not fill vacant positions, unless it is an essential position such as police or fire and rescue.

He said the city is looking at a nearly $4.5 million budget shortfall. Connelly says they are struggling with the lack of sales tax revenue and losing about 30,000 people from the ECU population who help contribute to that.

"We've been able to make that up with some other funds, but going into the 2020-2021 budget cycle, there's no telling what we're going to see," Connelly said. "We're not sure when large events will come back. That's a significant amount of income."

Connelly added saying ECU Baseball would have been a major contributor this year with people spending money in the Greenville community.

He also urges people to use caution as they visit businesses that are re-opening.

"Each person has their own comfort level, first and foremost," Connelly said. "Just because some of these businesses are opening up, doesn't mean that everything is safe. I think people need to be smart, they need to be cautious when they make decisions."

Phase 2 of North Carolina's re-opening process goes into effect at 5 p.m. on Friday. To see what is included in phase 2, click on the link under Related Items to the right.