Mayor Cahill has released a letter discussing highlights of the proposed 2019 Municipal Budget.
The Mayor’s letter is available below in full text or by clicking the graphic.
Dear Members of City Council, Residents and Taxpayers,
The proposed budget for 2019 has been submitted with a total expenditure of $94,523,063 supported by a levy of $35,522,086.
The budget provides for the continuation of all City programs and services as well as expansions to our programs in several departments while remaining in compliance with spending and levy CAP requirements. I have included some highlights of the budget for your consideration.
Several capital improvement projects are planned, including pedestrian and road safety upgrades to Nichol Avenue, Joyce Kilmer Avenue and Handy Street. The budget also calls for the continuation of our Citywide road re-paving program, which will address a number of streets in neighborhoods around town, including 8th Street, Carman Street, Hassart Street, Cobb Road and Abeel Street and portions of Welton Street and Paterson Street. We will continue to assess our streets to ensure repairs are made as needed.
The Parks Master Plan continues with city-wide improvements, including new playing fields, notably a soccer field at Harvey Street Park, a new dog park in Boyd Park, and additional water features.
In the area of public safety, we have budgeted for five new police officers and seven new firefighters. We also intend to replace end-of-life police and fire vehicles and just recently welcomed a brand-new Ferrara 750-gallon pumper fire truck to our fleet at a cost of just under a half a million dollars.
Additional investment in the infrastructure our Water and Sewer Utilities continues, furthering our commitments to providing high quality drinking water and to addressing the rising costs of waste water treatment.
We continue to benefit from our revitalization efforts. Recent redevelopment projects have realized a $533,562 increase in revenue, as well as a $400,000 increase in construction code fees. As a result of Citywide development, we have also experienced an $8.6 million increase in the total assessed valuation of taxable property in our City.
A tax rate increase of 3.4 cents has been proposed for this budget, resulting in an annual increase of $109.66 for the average property owner, defined as an owner of a property assessed at $271,307.
Thank you for your review of the proposed 2019 budget. As always, your input and suggestions are welcome.