COVID-Stressed Federal Budgets Mean Possible Reductions in Federal Aid

The trickle-down effect of COVID-stressed federal budgets mean that local and state governments might see reductions in federal aid. This is on top of the budget tightening efforts state and local governments have already implemented: furloughed over 1.5 million workers, eliminated salary increases, stopped hiring permanent or seasonal employees, and even reduced salaries. 

Reductions of 15-20% have the potential to affect spending for roads and traffic safety. As many as 65% of all municipalities have also frozen spending for infrastructure projects. These delays in infrastructure–including traffic calming projects such as roundabouts. Additionally, this may result in neglecting needed repairs, which will result in more expensive problems in the future. Police departments also might see reductions to personnel from cash flow issues. 

State and local governments are employing different strategies to assist in budget gaps. Colorado, for example, has instituted a 3% budget reduction. Other states, like Delaware, are able to rely on money set aside in reserve accounts. Officials continue to brace themselves for further budget constraints as the pandemic stretches on indefinitely. 

Even with all the uncertainty the pandemic brings, public safety efforts can be done on a budget. Having a cop sit on a corner and take speeds to slow drivers down may not be the best use of resources. Instead, a Radarsign brand radar speed sign could be a one-time cost that is reused on corners all over the district, allowing police personnel to be used in other ways. Creative municipality leaders should look at all options available to them to help cover the potential gap in the services that they provide to the community. 

Read more about how Great Bend Tribune Magazine called Radarsign’s TC-600 “Another Cop on Duty”