By Martha Stoffel
O’FALLON – Budget presentations for the FY20 budget have started within the committees this week. The Finance & Administration, Community Development and Public Works committees met on Monday to receive detail on the proposed budgets for city departments tied to those committees.
The Finance Department provided an overview of the entire budget, leaving specific details to the individual departments. The FY20 budget will begin May 1, 2019 and run through April 30, 2020. The proposed budget reflects a twelve percent increase from the previous year totaling $84,102,168, primarily due to several, planned public works projects.
Public Works projects represent 50.5% of the total proposed FY20 city budget. The largest item being upgrades and additions to the waste water treatment plan that were included in the city’s five-year Capital Improvement Plan. The project will include the installation of a sludge dewatering facility and the installation of filters to reduce phosphorus effluent levels. Approximately $4 million from the waste water reserve account will be transferred to help fund the $9 million project.
Other public works projects planned for the FY20 budget year include sewer lining work and water main replacements in the Southview Gardens subdivision, the Rieder Road lift station, phase four of the presidential streets stormwater improvements, and drainage improvements along Smiley. Public Works is also requesting the addition of a full-time fleet mechanic. The city currently has one mechanic that services all city vehicles, to include police and parks vehicles.
The Community Development Department is seeking a seventeen percent increase over last year’s budget. The increase is primarily attributed to the staff addition of another Code Enforcement Officer to help with the significant increase in property inspections and citizen code complaints, Phase Two of the city software platform City Works, and the addition of a new line item for developer-funded studies.
The Finance Department also recommended each department add a line item for capital reserves as a way to plan for long-term projects. As an example, the Community Development Department placed $25,000 in the capital reserves line for a future comprehensive plan that will likely cost $100,000 when completed in the future.
On March 11th, the Parks & Recreation and Public Safety committees will receive their departmental budget presentations. A final review will be done on March 25th by the Finance Committee. The City Council will vote on first reading to approve the FY20 budget on April 1st.