The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

Here's what the proposed 2019-20 Sweet Home city budget looks like

Council to hold public hearing May 14, possible vote on May 28

 

May 8, 2019



Of The New Era

The 2019-20 budget approved by the city’s Budget Committee includes $17.1 million in expenditures with expected revenues of $13.5 million.

The 2019-20 budget takes effect July 1. The 2018-19 budget ends June 30. The Budget Committee approved the proposed budget April 30. It will go to the City Council for a public hearing during its regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. May 14 in the training room at Sweet Home Police Department. The council will consider adopting the budget during its regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. May 28.

The increase in expenditures proposed in the 2019-20 budget will be absorbed by spending down the beginning fund balances of $10.4 million. The budget proposes ending fund balances, which become the following year’s beginning fund balances, of $6.3 million.

Total expenditures for 2017-18 were $9.7 million. For this year, 2018-19, total expenditures are budgeted at $14.4 million. Total revenues, including beginning fund balances, were $20.7 million in 2017-18 and $23.5 million this year. Total revenue for 2019-20, including beginning fund balances, is $23.9 million.

Among expenditures, the largest increase is in capital outlays. For 2019-20, the budget includes $6.6 million in capital expenditures, up from $3.9 million this year and $344,000 in 2017-18.

Personnel expenses increase by 4 percent to $5.5 million, and materials and services decreases by 4.8 percent to $3.6 million. The increase includes a 3-percent increase in pay and a 6-percent increase in health insurance premiums. Public Employee Retirement System payments will increase by 2 percent to 2.74 percent depending on which tier of PERS an employee is in. Only police officers are members of PERS. Other employees are on different retirement plans, which do not face the ongoing increases in employer contributions that PERS does.

Debt payments decline by about $6,500 to $1.372 million.

Among revenues, property tax revenue is projected to increase by 9.5 percent, from $3.5 million to $3.9 million. Service charges, which includes franchise fees, licensing fees, permitting and other similar charges, will increase by .3 percent to $1.26 million. Grants, donations and gifts, primarily grants and revenue sharing by the state, are projected to fall by 16 percent to $2.52 million. Utility fees will increase by 4.7 percent to $5.6 million. Other revenues will increase by 22.8 percent to $215,000.

Among changes to the proposed budget, the city Budget Committee has increased the annual payment for an $800,000 loan from the city’s Water Depreciation Fund from $91,000, including interest, to $141,000 at the request of Budget Committee Chairman Dave Holley.

The payment will come from the General Fund, said Finance Director Brandon Neish. The General Fund will be reduced to maintain a large enough balance to maintain operations for six months. To make it fit, parks capital funding has been reduced. It has been reduced by a total of $269,000 from a proposed 5$440,000 to accommodate additional changes.

The proposed budget had numerous items slated to move to a new Internal Services Fund, but after a review by staff last week, some items, were returned to the General Fund. Among them were City Hall maintenance and cleaning, tourism, 10 percent of the finance director’s compensation, membership dues, passport fees, Pacific Power’s franchise fee, street lights, the community grants program along with revenues from passport fees, lien search fees and a SAIF dividend.

The committee reviewed budgets for city departments on April 23 and April 29 and then approved the budget April 30.

Sweet Home Public Library

The Sweet Home Public Library begins 2019-20 with $372,000, up from $326,000, and will receive $422,000 in property taxes, up from $381,000.

Personnel costs increase from $209,000 to $230,000. Materials and services increase from $109,00 to $130,000. The library budget includes $115,000 for possible building improvements. It is currently planning a needs assessment.

The library budget will total $487,000, in addition to a new $47,000 transfer to the Internal Services Fund to help pay administration and finance expenses.

The budget reserves $245,000 in its unappropriated ending fund balance.

Sweet Home Police Department

The Sweet Home Police Department budget begins with a fund balance of $1.6 million, up from $1.3 million, and will receive some $2.83 million in property tax revenue, up from $2.56 million. Total revenues will increase from $3.96 million to $4.51 million.

Personnel costs increase from $2.22 million to $2.3 million. Materials and services increase from $286,000 to $332,000.

The department had not filled a half-time dispatch position since April 2016, Police Chief Jeff Lynn said. This year, he intends to fill the position to free up the communications supervisor to help improve department efficiency and help complete several data-driven projects.

Until 2016, the department always had the half-time position to help schedule the four full-time dispatchers, Lynn said. Now, the department is beginning to feel the effects of not filling that position.

Capital expenditures increase from $148,000 to $350,000.

Lynn said the department is planning to replace its dispatch console, purchase a new vehicle for supervisors and make lease payments on patrol vehicles.

The dispatch equipment are nearing the end of their lives, Lynn said. The consoles were manufactured between 1996 and 1998.

“Any time a tech comes out to work on it, that’s their first comment: It’s time,” Lynn said. Quick estimates put the cost at about $125,000. A $63,000 donation from the Arlene Moody Trust will help pay the cost.

Moody had been a certified police officer in 1972, and the donation was offered to honor her memory, Lynn said.

With two additional sergeants, department officials have noticed a need for a supervisor’s vehicle, especially following a standoff at the north end of Clark Mill recently, Lynn said. The vehicle will carry more tactical and information technology equipment so it can operate as a command vehicle. That will cost about $50,000.

The department’s total expenses will be about $3.98 million, up from $2.65 million. Additionally, the department will transfer $180,000 to the new Internal Services Fund, leaving approximately, $1.2 million in its ending fund balance.

Non-Departmental

The city’s non-departmental budget incorporates revenues and expenses in the General Fund and the new Internal Services Fund.

Revenues include $2 million in its beginning fund balance; some $680,000 in property taxes; $690,000 in fees, primarily franchise fees with local utilities and services; and $320,000 in state revenue sharing and transient occupancy taxes. Along with miscellaneous revenue sources, non-departmental resources will be $3.81 million down from $3.97 million.

Non-departmental personnel costs increase from $141,000 to $658,000, moving five positions to the budget as part of a reorganization of the budget, including the Public Works director, maintenance supervisor, two engineering technicians and the mechanic. One engineering technician position is new.

Non-departmental materials and services spending, which includes a variety of line items, such as street lights, memberships, professional services, labor relations, insurance, tourism, office supplies, cleaning supplies and utilities, falls to $452,000 from $845,000.

The decrease reflects the movement of several items to other parts of the budget, such as $40,000 in banking expenses, which moves to the Finance Department and reductions in professional services. Some $122,000 of the expenses for insurance and professional services has moved to other budgets, including Public Works, police and library.

Capital outlays fall from $1.1 million to zero in the 2019-20 budget. This year, non-departmental expenses include the new City Hall. Total expenditures are $1.1 million, down from $2.1 million.

The budget also contains a transfer of $550,000 for the Internal Services Fund for administration costs and a transfer out of $91,000 from the General Fund to the Internal Services Fund for administration and finance costs.

The increased City Hall loan repayment is part of the non-departmental budget, which will end the year with an unappropriated ending fund balance of about $2.7 million.

Executive and Legislative

The executive and legislative budget moves to the new Internal Services Fund, funded by transfers from other city departments, in the 2019-20 budget.

With two full-time equivalent positions, city manager and administrative assistant, personnel costs increase from $261,000 to $282,000.

Materials and services, which include line items like memberships, equipment, training and office supplies, fall from $60,000 to $43,000.

No capital outlays are budgeted. The total budget increases from about $322,000 to a budgeted $325,000.

Community and Economic Development Department

The Community and Economic Development Department, which remains funded through the General Fund, begins the year with $451,000, down from $473,000. Building permit fees are projected to remain at $145,000.

The department will have $617,000 in funding, down from $635,000.

Staff costs will increase from $486,000 to $500,000 for 5.45 full-time equivalent positions.

Materials and services increase from $605,000 to $670,000. This includes some $508,000 set aside for economic development projects, down from $526,000, most of which was unused and held over from the previous budget.

It also includes an increase in spending on professional services, from $32,500 to $113,000 for planning and consulting services. A new community and economic development director will focus on economic development rather than planning, and the city is contracting with the Council of Governments for planning services.

The budget includes a total of $1.17 million in expenditures, up from a budgeted $1.09 million.

Finance Department

The Finance Department adds $190,000 in revenues to the city budget, up from $185,000. Of that, $160,000 is in court fees.

The department is supported by $528,000 transferred in from other city departments to the new Internal Services Fund and $78,000 from the General Fund.

Personnel costs are $601,000, up from $582,000.

Materials and services increase from $122,000 to $194,000. This includes the movement of $40,000 in banking expenses from non-departmental spending to the Finance Department.

The Finance Department will cost a total of $795,000, up from a budgeted $706,000.

Public Works

Public Works Director Greg Springman said his department are struggling to get bid documents out for projects right now.

More planning activity in the Community and Economic Development Department is keeping the city’s staff engineer busy, Springman said. A new engineering technician position, which is included in non-departmental spending, will help free up the Public Works engineering technician to work on bid documents, allowing the city to begin seeking bids on projects, such as two street projects budgeted for the current fiscal year, and to work on the upcoming Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrade.

Public Works budgets include extra money for seasonal temporary workers for mowing, trimming and projects in the parks, freeing Public Works staff up for other projects, Springman said.

The Water Fund has no new positions, but it does include $300,000 to evaluate and design a new reservoir, which will appear in the budget for construction in the following year.

The Wastewater Plant upgrade and rehabilitation is going to final design and included in the budget at a cost of $3 million to $4 million, Springman said. Public Works has a long list of improvements needed in storm water. The budget includes drainage improvements at the intersection of 38th and Long streets.

In streets, the budget includes several overlays and paving projects, particularly on unimproved streets, such as 32nd Court, Juniper Street between 32nd and 35th as well as 45th and 46th avenues north of Airport.

Street funding includes four radar signs to collect data on speeds, Springman said. The signs are mobile and can be used in different areas. Originally estimated at $40,000, the cost looks more like about $18,000.

Public Works budgets will replace an F250 pickup and a boom truck, Springman said. It also includes a new roller to help with potholes and a Bobcat with multiple functions that will allow Public Works to stop renting equipment.

He also requested a lawn mower and a snow plow.

City Manager Ray Towry said Public Works has been playing catch-up with a fleet that was 20 years old or more.

“He had equipment spending as much time in the shop as in the field,” Towry said.

In the Public Works budgets, staff costs have fallen as a result of moving the five employees to the non-departmental budget. Those positions were divided among the different budgets, covered by transfers to the new Internal Services Fund.

Neish said it makes it easier to see what those positions cost.

Below is information about Public Works budgets and funds.

Parks

The city is budgeting $144,000 for two parks positions, down from $196,000, while materials and services expenses are rising from $86,000 to $105,000, reflecting a $30,000 grant the city is seeking for Sankey Park improvements.

The budget sets aside $296,000 for park improvements.

The budget increases overall spending in parks from $466,000 to $640,000.

The General Fund is transferring $72,000 to the Internal Services fund from Parks for administration and finance services. The General Fund will provide some $504,000 in support for the parks budget.

Water Fund

The Water Fund begins the year with $578,000 in carryover, down from $1.5 million. The city is budgeting $2.4 million, up from $2.2 million, in revenues from water users, which includes a 2-percent water rate increase that remains to be approved by the City Council.

Total, Water Fund resources fall from $3.7 million to $3 million.

Staff expenses for four employees fall from $445,000 to $307,000.

Materials and services costs fall from $973,000 to $830,000, reflecting a $150,000 decrease in the use of professional services.

Capital outlay decrease from $508,000 to $407,500. Among outlays, Public Works is planning to pay for engineering on a new water reservoir and to replace water treatment equipment.

The total budget decreases from $2.4 million to $2 million in expenses.

The budget also transfers $381,000, an increase from $162,000 this year but a decrease from $452,000 last year, to the new Internal Services Fund for administration and finance services. Public Works previously transferred administration funds to the General Fund.

The fund ends the budget year with a fund balance of $611,000, up from a budgeted $310,000.

Wastewater Fund

The Wastewater Fund begins the year with $3.49 million, up from $2.6 million. From wastewater users, the city is projecting $3.02 million in revenue, down from $3.09 million. No rate increases are included in the budget.

The city received a direct appropriation of $1.3 million in Oregon Lottery funds to help pay for the upcoming Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrades, Neish said.

The budget contains $4.39 million in capital outlays, primarily for the Treatment Plant upgrade.

Personnel costs fall from $307,000 to $130,000 for 1.5 FTE.

Materials and services increase from $628,000 to $742,000, reflecting an increase of some $100,000 in professional services.

The budget totals $6.3 million in expenses, up from $2.8 million. It transfers an additional $412,000 to the Internal Services Fund.

The fund ends the year with a fund balance of $1.1 million, down from a budgeted $4.7 million.

Storm Water Fund

The Storm Water Fund begins the year with a fund balance of $274,000.

Storm Water fees provide $186,000 in revenue, up from $62,000. This includes an increase in the storm water fee from $1 per month to $3 per month per equivalent dwelling unit. Most residences are one EDU. The City Council has not approved the increase yet.

The budget plans total revenues of $437,000.

Personnel costs fall from $38,000 to $24,000 for a half-time position, while materials and services remain at $3,350.

The budget includes $65,000 in storm water projects, up from $59,000.

The budget ends the year with a balance of $330,000 up from a budgeted $164,040.

Streets Fund

The streets budget begins the year with a fund balance of $1.64 million, up from $1.52 million. The state gas tax will provide $688,000, up from $659,000. Total revenue is $2.35 million, up from $2.2 million.

Staff expenses fall from $380,000 to $314,000 for four employees. Materials and services costs decrease to $92,000 from $97,000.

Capital outlays are $374,000, down from $797,000.

Total expenses fall decrease from $1.27 million to $780,000.

The fund transfers $83,000 to the Internal Services Fund for administrative services. It ends the year with a balance of $1.47 million, up from a budgeted $1 million.

 
 

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