The Surprise City Council approved the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 City Budget in a Special Meeting Tuesday night, that addresses safety needs for Information Technology, Police and Fire-Medical.
New to the $384.6 million budget is funding for Decide Surprise capital improvement projects that were approved by voters in the November 2017 General Obligation (GO) Bond election. Learn more at www.surpriseaz.gov/decidesurprise.
The budget also includes $16 million in contingency capacity to purchase the Circle City Water Company and grow renewable water allocations by 38 percent. The release of any expenditure would require Council approval 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. This 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 Final Budget includes funding for the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) of $67 million. This includes utilizing $14.4 million in FY2019 for land, design, and/or construction of some of the GO Bond projects.
The budget commits $18.4 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 ($14.4 million) and the functional areas of transportation, public safety, general government, and parks and recreation. Funding carried forward (approximately $24 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.
Council is scheduled to take action on the property tax rate at the June 19th Regular Council Meeting that begins at 6 p.m., at City Hall- Council Chambers. The agenda will be posted at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.
To view budget-related materials please visit www.surpriseaz.gov/budget.