The Hamilton City Council has adopted a budget for the 2020-2021 Fiscal Year that will not impose any increases in property taxes over the previous year, while maintaining tax levels at the level allowed with only a slight adjustment amount that is statutorily provided for. There is newly taxable property that allows for a slight increase of tax revenues. The City is not seeking any rate increases for water and sewer services this fiscal year. Budgeted expenditures for the coming year total $11,349,336 while revenues are forecast to be $ $9,602,718.
The mill value, $10,437.55 for 2020-2021 has increased over the $10,261 from the 2019-2020 year. Tax revenues are limited by state statutes and the City is allowed to apply an inflation adjustment, this year it was 1.05% that generated $23,576 additional tax revenue, and there was newly taxable property on the tax rolls that provided an additional $41,108, for a total $64,684 increase. Taxes cannot simply be increased without voter approval.
The following is a summary of the city’s revenues and expenses in the new budget compared to last year’s budget showing the increases and decreases compared to the previous year:
Some notable capital projects included in the 2021 budget include:
– $25,000 Library roof replacement, 50% shared with Bitterroot Public Library,
– $600,000 Fairgrounds Road + from Stonegate to Kurtz
– $131,000 Wayfinding signage ($75,000 from Tourism grant, $14,000 from AARP grant), -$50,000 for City portion of Skalkaho Park outlay;
– $150,000 Claudia Driscoll Park restroom, carryover from prior year,
– $150,000 Vester Wilson parking lot,
– $45,000 Hieronymus Park parking lot,
– $385,000 Big Corral transmission water line, carryover from prior year,
– $120,000 Sewer Jet Truck building, carryover from prior year,
– $205,000 Water & Sewer SCADA system, in progress from prior year,
– $100,000 Sewer New York lift station,
– $370,000 Sewer screw pump replacement, carryover from prior year,
– $33,000 Topsoil screen, split into five departmental and enterprise funds,
– $22,000 for Grizzly Bar Screen,
– $8,800 charging station at city hall, all paid by grant or local sources
– $35,000 pickup for PW Director,
– $23,600 for a Zero-turn mower for Sewer dept.
Repair and Maintenance Projects:
– $260,000 for East Ravalli Street,
– Cherry to NY; chip sealing Baker, Parker, River, Pennsylvania, Adirondac, Geneva, Essex, Ravalli Streets,
– $100,000 for sidewalks and ADA corners.
The City currently has about 42.5 full-time employees, including:
General ———– 7.8
According to City Finance Officer Craig Shepherd, this year’s budget isn’t much different than the prior year’s budget, but there are some different things going on each year.
“To the extent of what we budget for, we have the usual operating costs, and then we have projects that can be ongoing from the prior year, or new projects are being initiated. That is what the City does continually,” said Shepherd. He said the amount of work that can be done fully depends upon the resources at hand and what we think will come in, as revenues.
“Obtaining new revenues can be a challenge,” he said, We can expect to receive certain kinds and amounts of revenue and sometimes we have to seek other sources, such as grants, or even loans.” He said there is the potential in this coming year to receive up to $750,000 in reimbursement from the CARES Act, that is intended to go towards the City’s future fire hall.
“This unexpected revenue will be of a huge benefit as the City determines where the funding sources for this new facility will come from,” said Shepherd. He said the budget, as planned, will allow the City to do further projects, and to provide the level of services that taxpayers have come to expect.
“The City is being run responsibly and has a good core of dedicated employees and department heads who work hard to do good work and to help improve the City of Hamilton,” said Shepherd.
Full details of the budget are available for viewing on the City’s web site http://www.cityofhamilton.net