I hope you had a happy and productive 2016. I am pleased to report that the City had a very productive 2016. I am excited to begin 2017!
I want to provide an update on our 2017 budget. Council approved the 2017 budget on November 21, 2016. This was the earliest that a City budget has ever been adopted by City Council. I believe this speaks to Council providing clear direction on City operations and the Administration submitting a budget that aligns with Council’s direction. The Administration established goals to help guide the creation of the 2017 budget proposal. These goals were:
- Provide a balanced budget
- Focus on infrastructure improvements – maximize local funds for road improvements – defer equipment purchases until future years
- Proper % share of income tax for police and streets
- Continued efforts to pay down debt
- Budget presented 6 weeks earlier than in past years – provides more time for review and discussion
I want to take this opportunity to provide a quick snapshot of the approved 2017 budget. The main funding source for City operations (excluding water and sewer – which are funded by monthly bill payments and tap fees) is the income tax. The income tax is utilized to fund the Police Department, Street Department, Capital Improvements Fund, and Debt Service Fund. Each year, it is determined what percentage of the income tax should be allocated to these four funds. In 2017, the allocation is:
Police Fund: 53% (Police Department operations and equipment funding)
Street Fund: 35.65% (Street maintenance, paving and department operations funding)
Debt Service Fund: 9.2% (Funding to make annual debt payments)
Capital Improvements Fund: 2.15% (Budgeted for capital improvement projects funding and large equipment purchases)
One of highlights from the approved budget is $650,000 budgeted for road improvements in 2017. This is the most, non-debt funding amount that has ever been budgeted by the City for road improvements. This speaks to the aggressive nature the city has adopted for identifying and budgeting for needed road improvements.
The 2017 budget includes no additional staffing in 2017. It does include funding for continuing the police cruiser replacement program to assure the department has a reliable fleet. The 2017 budget includes funding for two cruises to be replaced with new vehicles.
These are just a few of the highlights of the 2017 budget. The entire budget contains significantly more information about projects and funding levels. The City Administration is happy to answer any questions you may have about the 2017 budget. Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com or 740-964-2416. I am happy to answer any questions that you may have.