Tuesday’s Richmond City Commission meeting saw the first reading of the 2021 through 2022 fiscal year budget.
“This budget shows that our city is financially very stable and is allowing us to do some projects which are really quality of life projects for our citizens,” City Manager Rob Minerich said.
The annual budget of the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2021, and ending June 30, 2022, was presented as follows.
For resources available, the cities estimated balance carried forward for the general fund is $24,000,000. The locally generated revenue for the general fund is $28,949,384. The total resources for appropriations of the general fund are $55,754,100. Appropriations for the general fund are $37,946,052, with an estimated ending balance as of June 30, 2022, at $15,808,048.
Minerich told the council the city had increased its projected revenues by 5.4 percent.
“We emerged from the pandemic on sound financial footing,” Minerich said. “We are experiencing a strong real estate market. We have low property tax rates… We expect growth in our tax base due to new property growth, annexation, and higher assessed property values. As such, we have not included a tax increase in this budget.”
The contingency reserved fund balance carried forward is $11,371,400. The locally generated revenue for this fund, which includes a transferred $3,000,000, is $3,050,000. Therefore, the total resources for appropriation of this fund are $14,421,400. The $3,000,000 will be coming from an appropriation of $8.2 million of the reserves from the $24,000,000 in unreserved funds in the general fund from the fiscal year 2021. The remaining $3.2 million will be used for normal operations and departmental capital expenditures.
Minerich explained the budget does include a cost of living adjustment of 4% and increases of obtaining job-related certifications and professional licenses as well as scheduled scale increases.
“The budget funds salary increases to boost employee retention, enhance recruitment efforts when competing with neighboring entities, and better align the statewide municipals for all positions,” Minerich said.
These salary increases are well deserved, Minerich said. He said the staff had worked hard through the pandemic with a strong work ethic and a “can-do attitude.”
The Storm Water Bond balance carried forward is $210,000 and the city’s use of funds is $10 for a total resource for appropriations of $210,010. The city is expected to use all of this.
The Irvine McDowell Park balance carried forward is $265,000. The locally generated revenue is $35,000. Appropriations are $175,000, and the ending balance is $125,000.
The Municipal Aid Program balance carried forward is $160,000, with state and federal funds of $615,000 coming in for a total resource for appropriations of $775,00. The city has appropriated a total of $725,000 for an ending balance of $50,000.
Federal Funds balance carried forward the city has $26,000, which is the total resources for appropriations. The city has expenditures expected of around $20,000 for an ending balance of $6,000.
In the city’s capital projects fund, the balance carried forward is $4,787,000. Locally generated revenue is $2,00,005. State and federal funds of $575,000. With a total resource for appropriation of $7,367,000. In the budget, there are appropriations of $5,835,800, which leaves an estimated fund balance of $1,531,200.
Self-funded health insurance funds have an estimated balance carried forward of $1,100,000. The revenue of incoming premiums is $2,289,081. There is a total resource of appropriations of $3,389,881. With appropriations of $2,289,081, which leaves the city’s estimated fund balance at $1,000,100.
Minerich told the commissioners the self-funded insurance fund had built reserves over the years to approximately $1,000,000. He explained they anticipate a loss in 2021 for the first time since initiating the plan, but they expect to have fluctuation in cost.
“We believe the reserves are more than adequate to cover both anticipated loss and the fixed cost increase,” Minerich said.
Workers comp compensation accounts have an estimated balance carried forward of $525,000, and the locally generated revenue is $600,000. Expenditures are expected to be $600,000, so the total estimated ending fund balance would be $525,00.
The city budgeted for 255 full-time employees, which is seven more positions than the previous fiscal year. However, Minerich said he believes the city will need the positions to keep providing the same amount of services throughout the year.
Departments and positions are as follows: codes department: a level three plan reviewer, building inspector, a residential inspector, and an electrical inspector; golf maintenance department: general laborer; vehicle maintenance department: general maintenance shop keeper; IT department: it coordinator; and an administrative public information officer position.
The city budgeted $1,824,650 across several departments to cover normal repetitive capital expenditure items. These are detailed by department in the budget. They are $90,000 for technology, $108,250 for buildings and maintenance, $675,400 for vehicles, and primarily police cars. Minerich said the city carried over the cost of five cars in fiscal year 21 because production was paused and added five new cars to keep the rotation schedule up to date. In addition, $63,000 was budgeted for improvements other than buildings, $628,000 for equipment, $10,000 for furniture, and $250,00 was set aside for such items as sidewalk repairs and unexpected breakdowns. Finally, $177,161 was budgeted for the Madison County 911 support. Funding for this was split between operational support of $166,161 and project support of $11,000. The city, the county, and Berea each pay the same portion of the share.
The police and fire retirement fund have an estimated balance carried forward of $355,021. The locally generated funds interest on the account is around $30, and there are appropriations of $16,556. The total estimated fund balance is, therefore, approximately $338,495.
Downtown repairs, maintenance, and revitalization were budgeted for $100,000. Funds will be used for the general beautification of downtown, including purchases and installation of signage, creating window signage for vacant storefronts, purchasing banners and flags, purchasing hanging flower pots, and other miscellaneous items needed.
State funds have an estimated balance carried forward of $490,000 with revenue of $15,000. The total appropriations are $505,000. Appropriations made of $350,000 with an ending balance of $155,000.
Tourism has an estimated balance carried forward of $45,000 and income of $410,000. With expenditures, they are estimated to have an ending balance of $0.
A parks project was budgeted for $4,000,000. Minerich said the city is working towards obtaining property to build a new multi-purpose city park.
A new state-of-the-art soccer complex.
Four-leaf clover-designed softball fields.
A dog park.
Miles of multi-use paths.
Shelters, all-inclusive playgrounds.
Possibly an indoor recreation center.
$250,000 was budgeted for bathrooms at Lake Reba.
“This is a four-stall family restroom which is much needed to increase the number of stalls located in the heavily access part of the park,” Minerich said. The bathrooms will be strategically located on the same side of the street as the all-inclusive playground.
Minerich said the budget does include $2,000,000 in scheduled reimbursement from the general fund in capital projects completed. Minerich said when the capital projects fund was established, they put in a clause to refurbish the funds as projects were conducted to keep funds reserved for longer-term high dollar projects.
“This budget provides an investment in our employees, investment in the tools and equipment needed to carry out our daily operations of the city, and investment in technology to create greater efficiencies and effectiveness,” Minerich said. “It provides for maintenance of roads, infrastructure, and major stormwater repairs. Lastly, it provides funds for significant enhancement to our parks."
Minerich urged the commissioners to read over the budget carefully over the next two weeks. So when they meet again on June 9 for the second reading, they will be prepared to ask questions, make any necessary changes, and put the budget into action for the fiscal year of 2022.