According to Stevensville Mayor Brandon Dewey, attempting to maintain the town’s current levels of service will require additional staff this year in numerous departments. On the docket for the coming year will be an additional half-time job as Police Clerk and a part-time Zoning Administrator.
The proposed 2018-2019 General Fund Budget for expenditures comes to a total of $749,585. Police services get by far the largest bite from the General Fund, at $258,921. The Fire Department comes next with a proposed budget of $97,865. These two departments combined represent 48% of the entire budget expenditures.
The other departments include:
Administration Services/Audit – $87,934
Public Works Administration – $84,048
Streets – $67,282
Court – 53,700
Recreation – $45,640
Legal/Attorney – $16,200
Parks – $9,014
Cemeteries – 8,208
Council – $14,296
Executive/Mayor – $6,477
According to Dewey, the Town’s fiscal policy requires a minimum level of General Fund Reserves that will mitigate short-term volatility in revenues, mitigate economic downturns, sustain services in the event of an emergency, meet operation cash flow requirements, and meet the requirements for debt reserves when applicable. This budget establishes a reserve of approximately $103,953 (13.86%) at the end of fiscal year 2019.
Dewey said that the proposed budget is premised on expected 1% increase in the value of taxable property within town and no increase in the tax levy is proposed.
Three years ago, the Council approved an annual increase in the water and sewer rates of 3% in both funds when the five-year model update was adopted, bringing the proposed rates to $14.32 per month for water and $30.68 for sewer services.
The town annually prepares a five-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The items that are scheduled in that plan each spring become the starting point for budget requests at budget development time. This year, capital expenditures total over $1.1 million. These purchases will have varying effects on the town’s operations this year and into the future. The largest items with the greatest impact are mainly dealing with street infrastructure that carry future maintenance costs.
Revenue for FY 2019 budget general fund is estimated at $621,433 for the year. Revenues rose steadily from about $460,000 in 2008 to about $580,000 in 2014. Revenues then dipped in 2015 to 2016 to about $500,000 reaching a low point of just over $420,000 in 2017 before jumping up to a high of over $700,000 in 2018.
“Change can be difficult, uncomfortable and challenging,” said Mayor Dewey. “Working together, we have consistently found innovative ways to maintain services and invest in our community in fiscally responsible ways. We are a resilient, enterprising and creative community.” He said this budget is an achievable plan to provide efficient and effective services.
Upcoming budget workshops are scheduled at 6 p.m. on:
June 7 – Public Works – including Water & Wastewater; Streets; Parks & Cemeteries; Building Department and Airport
June 14 – Police Department; City Attorney; City Court; Fire Department
June 21 – Capital Expenditures
June 28 – Revenues and final review of capital expenditures and all budget changes.
A public hearing on the Preliminary Budget is scheduled for July 23 at 7 p.m.
Final Budget Adoption by Resolution of the 2018-2019 Budget is set for August 13 at the regular Town Council meeting.
More detailed information about the budget can be found on the Town’s website at www.townofstevensville.com.