City Manager Presents $93.5M FY 2018 Recommended Budget
City Manager Tim Baroody presented his fiscal year (FY) 2018 recommended budget of $93,515,000 to Fredericksburg City Council during their March 17, 2017, meeting.
The recommended budget is a 3.44 percent increase over the FY 2017 general fund budget.
The budget as presented includes a recommended 3 cent real estate tax rate increase. Of that, 2 cents would be used for the general fund, and 1 cent would be used to meet the unfunded mandate on storm water management. If approved, that means the real estate tax rate would increase from 77 cents in FY 2017, to 80 cents in FY 2018.
There are recommended water and sewer rate increases of 2 percent for water and 4 percent for sewer.
“Our rates are based on a bi-monthly schedule, and on a flat fee plus consumption charge,” Assistant City Manager Mark Whitley said. “The flat fee varies based on the size of the meter, and the consumption charge is the rate over 1,000 gallons, which can vary in a given billing cycle. Based on 10,000 gallons a month – which is more of a “family” level of usage for a household — the 2 percent water rate increase would raise a bimonthly bill by $1.23. The 4 percent sewer rate increase would raise the bimonthly bill by $4.53. The annual total for the increase would be $34.53.”
The budget includes $28.560 million for the Fredericksburg City Public Schools. It’s an additional $800,000 in the city’s transfer over FY 2017, Whitley said.
The school board had requested $29,199,371.
The $2 million schools’ capital funding would include payment for a new elementary school, roof and HVAC replacements, and buses.
General fund expenditures, from greatest to least, are:
– $34.047 million for salaries and benefits – 36.3 percent
– $28.560 million for schools – 30.5 percent
– $9.585 million for operations – 10.2 percent
– $4.794 million for corrections – 5.1 percent
– $8.149 million for debt service – 4.3 percent
– $3,167 million for outside agencies – 3.4 percent
– $2 million for transfer to capital – 2.1 percent
– $1.715 million for social services – 1.8 percent
– $1.064 million for interfund transfers – 1.1 percent
– 0.833 million for capital – 0.9 percent
Capital improvements funded by the recommended budget include Riverfront Park, a new fire station, and parking improvements throughout the city.
Debt service includes $800,000 related to the renovation of the Original Walker Grant School.
The general fund includes two new city positions. These are an IT Business Analyst to oversee financial and customer service software upgrades, and a deputy fire marshal. “The deputy fire marshal was funded about a decade ago, and we’re brining it back, said City Manager Tim Baroody. “We believe it is a critical position to meet growing demand, and to stay on top of protecting people and property.”
The recommended budget would also move the city’s salary scale to better reflect the market, Baroody said. The Evergreen Study determined city staff are about 6 percent off, compared with 14 similar cities and counties, he said.
The recommended budget fully funds phases one and two of the Compensation and Classification plan, and partially funds phase three.
Phase one is a competitive adjustment of city staff salaries, based on a revised minimum, midpoint, and maximum scale.
Phase two is a 1.5 percent salary increase for full-time staff, and a 1 percent increase for part-time staff.
Phase three would work to advance staff members who fall below the midpoint salary range of the new scale.
City Council will discuss the recommended budget in its upcoming work sessions. The first read is planned for the April 25 regular session meeting. The second read is planned for the May 9 meeting. All these meetings are open to the public.
Fredericksburg City Council 2017 Schedule