The city of New Orleans is facing a huge budget shortfall following economic losses blamed on the coronavirus pandemic, Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in a news conference Monday.
That shortfall could reach $170 million, the city's Chief Administrative Officer Gilbert Montano, said.
The city's budget woes are because of a loss of tourism amid the crisis, as many events that would usually draw in crowds have now been wiped off the calendar.
Jazz Fest, Voodoo Fest and the Essence Festival have been canceled so far, CNN affiliate WVUE reported.
Cantrell said the city is now looking into ways to cut the budget, including offering early retirement to employees. City employees would not be laid off or furloughed as part of the plan to make up the money, Montano said.
Some measures already in place to help lower costs include reducing trash pickup in the French Quarter -- which could help the city save approximately $800,000, the mayor said.
The city is also considering getting a $100 million loan to help cover the expense of keeping the city up and running.
The Cantrell administration is looking for more cost cutting strategies to help with the shortfall.
The mayor and other officials plan to present the budget shortfall to the City Council Tuesday morning.