Many municipalities across the state…. and across the nation for that matter… are facing increasing financial stress due to COVID-19, and Arkansas City is included. Local officials say the financial impact of the shutdowns associated with coronavirus could leave the city with a deficit of $500,000 by the end of the year. Commissioners met last week with city officials and department heads in a special study session to discuss the 2021 budget, and the projected budget deficit… saying the city faces difficult financial struggles ahead. All pretty much agree that there will be some very tough choices in the not too distant future. Despite some $149,400 in proposed departmental budget cuts, city leaders say Ark City is still looking at a substantial budget shortfall.