Yukon lays off 18 full-time employees Thursday

Downturn in economy from COVID-19 pandemic noted

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Yukon City Manager Jim Crosby announces 18 people have been laid off by the city. (Photo by Robert Medley)

Yukon City Manager Jim Crosby announced Thursday that 18 people who work full-time for the city have been let go due to the anticipated loss of sales tax revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There have been a lot of major changes in the last three weeks,” Crosby said.

The city council approved budget amendments Tuesday, cutting the current fiscal year budget by about 2% percent, or $604,338. Layoffs are in addition to those cuts, Crosby said.

Cases of COVID-19 have continued to rise in Canadian County and in Oklahoma.With businesses closed, the loss of sales tax revenue will be felt in June, Crosby said.

“In preparation for it we are having to redo our budget and that’s a very difficult thing, and with so many unknown factors with when this thing is going to end,” Crosby said. “In preparation for that we made major decisions.”

Crosby said the cutbacks and layoffs are difficult to face.

“This is probably the hardest part of the budget or anything to do with my job because it affects lives and it affects families,” Crosby said.

He said the city council will continue to determine what future cuts may be needed. He said part-time workers have been let go.

“This has also been difficult on them as they count on these jobs to help them,” Crosby said.

Crosby said he hopes the COVID-19 cases will reach a peak soon and start to go down.

“We’re going to reach our peak really soon we hope on this virus. The trouble is when you reach the top you still have to go down, so it is going to take some time.”

While Yukon city events are canceled this year, a final decision on the Yukon Freedom Fest Fourth of July celebration. A decision on the event will be made by May, Crosby said.