Boulder furloughs 737 city workers through late June

BOULDER — Just a day after it was revealed that the first COVID-19-related furloughs of municipal workers in Northern Colorado and the Boulder Valley hit employees in Fort Lupton and Nederland, the floodgates opened and Boulder announced Tuesday that the city was putting 737 employees on leave.

The furloughs, which start April 20 and last through June 28, impact 175 full-time workers and 562 seasonal employees, according to the announcement from Boulder city manager Jane Brautigam.

““Like many of our local companies, the city is facing very serious financial impacts as a result of the coronavirus pandemic,” Brautigam said in a prepared statement. “We are significantly reducing non-personnel expenses and canceling or delaying capital improvement projects, but the reality is that the financial impact requires immediate furloughs and may require future layoffs. We are assessing the situation every day; my heart goes out to our employees who have dedicated their service to this community.”

Boulder officials estimate the city will lose $28 million in tax receipts, or nearly 10 percent of  annual revenue, as a result of the coronavirus business closures.

“Decisions to recall staff to active service, extend the furlough, or layoff staff will be made by June 1,” according to a Boulder news release. Boulder will continue paying for eligible employees’ health benefits through June 30.

“This is an unprecedented situation,” Brautigam said in a statement. “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.”