The City Council has completed its review of the 2020 proposed budget, which Mayor Mary Lou Pauly presented on Sept. 24. The City Council held six budget work sessions in October and November.
City Council Changes to the Proposed Budget
The City Council carefully considered the 2020 proposed budget, and ultimately decided on a series of changes, including:
- Lowering the proposed utility tax rate increase on City-operated utilities and cable from 6 percent to 3 percent.
- Lowering the proposed increase on Senior Gold Pass from $120 per year to $60 per year for residents, and $144 per year to $72 per year for non-residents.
- Restoring funding to allow the community center and swimming pool to maintain 2019 hours of operation.
- Restoring funding for community grants and contracts for service, adding back $69,775 and $26,854, respectively.
- Adding funds to support the integration of Strategic Plan environmental objectives into work on Title 18.
- Making a modest draw on fund balance – $196,211 – to partially support work on the City Service Assessment.
Collectively, these changes, along with other cost-saving measures identified during deliberations, result in a $143,099,680 million budget for 2020, including $49,849,234 in the General Fund.
Additional Policy Direction
In addition to these monetary changes to the budget, the City Council directed the Administration to follow-up on a number of policy priorities in 2020, including:
- Develop a financial assistance program to help mitigate the impacts of increases tax rates for low income residents, including utility rates and cemetery fees.
- Report back to the City Council as work unfolds on the Munis reimplementation project.
- Present to the City Council the Administration’s proposed scope for the City Services Assessment.
- Explore ways to expand shifting credit card merchant fees to the customers using credit cards.
- Build on work completed in 2019 to implement the salary recommendations made in the recently completed classification and compensation study, and identify strategies for implementing the total compensation elements of the study.
- Explore selling Tibbets Creek Manor and developing an overarching strategy for other City surplus property.
The City Council will vote on this final draft during its Nov. 18 Regular Meeting and Public Hearing. The purpose of the hearing is for community members to speak for or against any part of the final budget, or provide general comments.