FY2019 Recommended Budget focuses on safety
Surprise, AZ (April 17, 2018) Finance Director Lindsey Duncan presented the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 City Manager Recommended Budget to City Council at Tuesday’s Work Session, that is built on the foundation of safety- for residents; city infrastructure/technology; and the city’s financial position.
The most notable change in the $387.8 million budget is the inclusion of new capital projects with the passing of the General Obligation (GO) Bond election in November 2017. The bonds will fund $59.5 million of needed public safety, traffic congestion mitigation and pavement preservation projects beginning in FY2019. Learn more at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.
The budget also includes $16 million in contingency capacity to purchase the Circle City Water Company should the special election be approved in May 2018. All uses of contingency require the approval of the City Council before it may be expended and this will be repaid through future water credit sales. Learn more at www.surpriseaz.gov/waterelection.
Increased operating expenditures are focused on public safety, security, inflation factors, and mandated/contractual obligations.
Public Safety was the largest recipient of increases to ensure the safety of residents. The Recommended Budget includes the expansion of the city’s ground ambulance service to include a fourth ambulance. The SAFER grant which was awarded to the Fire-Medical Department in 2017 ends in FY2019. The costs for these positions will be fully absorbed by the General Fund mid-year to maintain the enhanced service for residents. In addition, the budget addresses new safety/security needs with the funding of two additional police officers, an emergency manager, an information technology security analyst, and a court compliance coordinator.
With the new requirements of Proposition 206, additional funding is programmed for the minimum wage increase of part-time employees and for paid sick time. The budget also includes additional funding for costs which increase over time such as costs of living, medical premiums, pension contribution rate increases and service-related increases; including water user rates, software licenses, library intergovernmental agreements, and transit intergovernmental agreements.
The Recommended Budget includes funding for the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) of $71 million. This includes utilizing $13 million in FY2019 for land, design, and/or construction of some of the GO Bond projects.
The budget commits $21 million to maintain, secure, preserve, and/or replace infrastructure including roads, buildings, equipment and aged vehicles.
The remaining capital is divided between utility-related projects ($15 million) and the functional areas of transportation, public safety, general government, and parks and recreation. Funding carried forward (approximately $22 million) from the prior year will continue the work on Desert Oasis water supply facility phase 2, special planning area 1 recharge expansion, and City Center public infrastructure.
Funding for additional operations and capital improvements is generated from growth in general fund revenue. General fund revenues are expected to increase by 10% or approximately $10.9 million above the current adopted budget. Recent escalations in housing activity as well as growing local sales tax account for most of the increase. A five-year forecast of city resources compared to uses helps ensure long-term financial sustainability and secures safety of the city’s financial position.
The FY2019 Recommended Budget is available at www.surpriseaz.gov/budget.
Council is scheduled to adopt a final budget in June.