The City of Santa Barbara has begun to lay off as many as 400 hourly workers amid the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.

City Administrator Paul Casey said the employees are downtown parking lot and waterfront kiosk operators, library pages, parks and recreation workers, and summer camp staff. Notices went out Friday, and more are expected next week.

“We’ve lost the revenue for these positions,” Casey told Noozhawk on Friday afternoon.

Santa Barbara is no longer charging park fees at its lots and the kiosks are unattended, so there is no need for employees at this time, Casey said. With so much uncertainty surrounding the length of time of the shelter-in-place order, the city doesn’t believe many of its summer programs will go on as planned.

The decision comes as Santa Barbara is about to embark on the second year of its two-year budget plan. The coronavirus has affected virtually every aspect of the community.

With sales and hotel bed taxes coming to a screeching halt, Santa Barbara and all government entities will be faced with having to drastically reduce their budgets for the upcoming fiscal year.

The City of Solvang also announced that it has laid off eight of its 30 employees. The City of Santa Maria announced an immediate hiring freeze and warned of pending financial doom.

Closures of hotels, restaurants and retail, among other businesses, hurt sales tax and transient occupancy taxes, and the statewide executive order to stay at home also is having a negative effect on gas tax revenues, according to a statement. 

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.