MEDFORD, Ore. — Bracing for the anticipated revenue impact of Oregon's coronavirus shutdown, the City of Medford announces on Wednesday that it will have to lay off a dozen employees and freeze hiring for a number of vacant positions.
“Like many of our local companies, the city is facing very serious financial impacts as a result of the coronavirus pandemic,” said City Manager Brian Sjothun. “We are significantly reducing non-personnel expenses and department directors are forgoing future Cost of Living Adjustments and step increases, but the reality is that the financial impact requires layoffs. We are assessing the situation every day; my heart goes out to our employees who have dedicated their service to this community.”
Twelve employees were notified earlier this week that they are being laid off. They will be paid through July 15 and continue receiving benefits until the end of the month.
Nine positions with the City are currently vacant and will not be filled for the foreseeable future.
Officials anticipate at least $5.4 million in lost revenue for the City's General Fund — a drop of roughly 8.3 percent from the City's annual revenue since the Governor's "Stay Home, Save Lives" order went into effect on March 27.
Sjothun said that the City will continue to evaluate the impact on revenue — and to City personnel — in the days ahead.
“This is an unprecedented situation,” Sjothun said. “Unlike a natural disaster or past economic downturns, the duration of this crisis is unknown; the pandemic is impacting every community across the country. It is creating very real financial hardships for businesses and individuals, and there is incredible uncertainty about public health outcomes and our ability to get back to normal.”
This is a developing story and will be updated with more details as they emerge.