The city of Washington presented its 2022 fiscal budget on Monday, which includes planned spending of $ 250,000 for a new park, $ 300,000 for a water tower and more than $ 150,000 for increased salary costs.
Washington City Council unanimously approved the budget Monday after a public hearing in which there were no public comments. The budget covers the upcoming fiscal year, which begins October 1, 2021 and ends September 30, 2022.
The new budget projects that the city will collect $ 31,162,515 in revenue and spend $ 40,002,750. The city will draw on its reserves to make up the $ 9 million difference, said Mary Sprung, the city’s chief financial officer. With this budget combined with what the city has in reserve, the city expects it will end this fiscal year with $ 21,730,600 in reserve funds.
âIt’s a balanced budget with healthy reserves,â Sprung said. âAnd that’s what we look for every year.
This budget is very similar to last year, Sprung said, when the city forecast $ 31,126,980 in income and $ 40,563,640 in expenses. Sprung said the budget remains constant from year to year.
One thing that is changing are capital improvement projects, she said. In the coming fiscal year, Washington has budgeted $ 14,678,835 for capital improvement projects. Last year that figure was $ 15,557,795, which is a bit higher because the city had to pay for the construction of the new Agnes Nolting Aquatic Complex.
This year’s projects include the planned playground for the Phoenix Center, on which the city plans to spend $ 250,000; a new water tower east of town, for which the town plans to spend $ 300,000; and new airport hangars, on which the city plans to spend $ 120,000. City administrator Darren Lamb said the city planned to build the airport hangars last year. However, with the volatility of the market and the increase in steel prices, the project was put on hold. The city is still waiting to see if steel prices drop before proceeding.
The new budget also includes a $ 147,000 increase in salary costs the city incurred after approving a new employee payment plan. In May, the city contracted with Austin Peters Group, a Kansas-based consulting firm, to conduct a study on how the city’s wages compare to those of similar municipalities.
“He looked at what our wages are and said, ‘based on all the cities we looked at, if the city wants to be in the 60th percentile, that’s what you should pay,” “he said. he declares.
The city used the results of the study to determine a new salary plan.
The city will also have to pay 2-3% salary increases for staff based on merit. Lamb said that every year, department heads conduct performance reviews for all city employees, and the city grants increases based on those reviews.
The city also plans to hire a new police officer and part-time clerk and maintenance worker for the parks department, as well as additional maintenance workers for water and wastewater services.
The city is also planning to hire an assistant airport manager in the spring, a new position. Since the city took control of the airport in 2019, it has only had three employees, Lamb said.
âThe airport obviously operates seven days a week, so we felt it was imperative to have enough staff to keep it running at night and on weekends,â he said.
Here are the budgetary expenses by category:
â¢ General fund: $ 14,286,325
â¢ Wastewater treatment: $ 5,261,535
â¢ Sales tax fund for capital improvement: $ 4,490,750
â¢ Solid waste: $ 2,963,660
â¢ Debt service: $ 2,665,200
â¢ Transportation sales tax fund: $ 2,021,000
â¢ Vehicle and equipment replacement: $ 1,352,900
â¢ Rainwater improvement: $ 1,255,320
â¢ Voluntary fire: $ 1,012,580
â¢ Other funding uses: $ 5,431,920