Mallory Herrmann

The finance and budget committee is hearing from each of the city’s departments as they consider the budget for the 2020 fiscal year.

A series of meetings that began earlier this month will wrap up on Apr. 29, when the committee will hear remaining presentations. They will meet again in May to discuss department expansion requests. The budget will come to the full city council for a public hearing on Jun. 4, with a second reading to approve the budget slated for Jun. 18.

Nick Edwards, assistant city manager, has noted that the city is trying to be conservative in their revenue estimates. After a couple of years of strong growth, they expect sales tax revenues to take a dip in line with past trends, projecting about 3.5% growth year-over-year.

“This is a projection we feel confident about,” Edwards said, adding “We want to make sure we’re not overzealous in our forecasts.”

Still, the city faces a shortfall. The general fund, including personnel services, supplies and services, repairs and maintenance, is projected to have expenditures totaling $74,105,650; the proposed 2020 budget is up to $77,380,952 – an increase of about 4.4%. Revenues, meanwhile, are forecast to bring in $75,667,110 in FY2020, up only about 3% from the projected $73,484,487 the city expects to bring in this year.

The total proposed expenditures for next year are $231,441,372, up from the $200,366,942 in the fiscal year 2019 budget.

There is also continued enthusiasm about the city’s move toward priority-based budgeting, which is designed to take the city’s long-term strategy and goals into account when prioritizing expenditures.