City Manager W. Lane Bailey has presented his proposed budget for the fiscal year 2021-2022 (FY22) to the Salisbury City Council.
The $47,016,128 balanced General Fund budget reflects a 3% increase in spending from the FY21 adopted budget. In addition to the General Fund, the Water/Sewer, Transit, Broadband and Stormwater Funds comprise the overall City budget totaling $85,629,646. This total sum also includes Special Revenue Funds (CDBG & HOME) and Capital Reserve Funds. Based on feedback from City Council during the Thursday, May 6, budget preparation meeting, the proposed budget for FY21-22 maintains the current tax rate of $0.7196.
Bailey anticipates finishing FY20-21 with approximately $1.5 to $1.7 million in surplus which will be returned to fund balance. Appropriating the surplus in FY21-22 will allow the city to meet some of the staffing challenges it faces, and to complete several large, one-time capital projects, such as:
• Roof/HVAC Projects
• Main/Innes Street Improvements
• Police LiveScan and Video Software
• Old Concord Sidewalk
• Bell Tower Green
In addition to the $909,923 appropriation, an additional $357,027 is recommended for operational expenses, including recruiting and retention efforts, for a total Fund Balance appropriation of $1,266,950. Bailey anticipates this will reduce Salisbury’s Fund Balance to 31.59%, which is well above the Local Government Commission minimum recommendation of 8% and above the Council recommended floor of 24%.
“This has been a challenging year financially, physically and emotionally, but staff has risen to the challenge and continued to provide exceptional services to our community,” said Bailey. “Because of sound financial management in previous years, the General Fund Fund Balance remains healthy. We will continue to budget conservatively, but based on the increase in sales tax revenue and issuance of development permits, I am optimistic about our community’s ability to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Bailey also recommended a 2% water and sewer increase based on the Consumer Price Index for urban consumers for the South Region (CPI-U). An average monthly residential water and sewer utility bill, for a customer using 4,000 gallons, would be $60.59 (an increase of $1.16 or $0.038/day).
Other proposed fee increases include a $1.15 increase in residential curbside collection sites with one waste container and one recycling container, and a proposed $.08 increase to stormwater fees to offset inflation. The stormwater fee increase also would provide funds for stormwater projects to reduce flooding and pollution to maintain compliance with the existing NPDES permit. Stormwater may be an area for use of American Recovery Plan (ARP) funds due to the city, if eligible.
City Council will hold a special budget work session on Wednesday, May 26, at 5:30 p.m. via Zoom. At the session, City Council will have the opportunity to discuss details of the proposed budget with the city manager. This meeting is open to the public and Zoom details will be posted on the city’s website at www.salisburync.gov. The meeting can also be viewed via the City’s livestream at www.salisburync.gov/webcast or the City’s Twitter account at https://twitter.com/CitySalisburyNC.
In addition, City Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget Tuesday, June 1. Council must adopt a final budget by June 30.
The proposed budget can be found on the city website at https://salisburync.gov/Portals/0/Documents/Financial%20Services/Budgets/2021-2022%20Recommended%20Budget.pdf.