Hello South Burlington,
On Monday, December 6th we presented the proposed FY23 Budget to the City Council. Materials on this proposed budget – including the finances across funds, the FY23-32 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), and the presentations provided so far – are available here: https://www.southburlingtonvt.gov/departments/finance/fy_23_budget.php.
Over the next few Council meetings, members of the Leadership Team will present the budgets on public safety (December 20th), public works and community development (January 3rd), and then the Council will hold a public hearing (January 10th.) It is our hope that the Council will approve the General Fund budget, the CIP, and the enterprise fund budgets on January 10th and January 18th. On January 24th, the Council and School Board will meet as the Steering Committee and share both budgets with the community in advance of your consideration on Town Meeting Day.
I want to share some highlights from our proposed FY23 Budget and would welcome you to attend a future Council meeting or send comments to myself and the Council on any ideas and questions you have about this budget.
Council Goals: On September 20th the Council set some goals for the FY23 budget. They articulated an interest in:
- Maintaining our current level of services
- Staying at or under a 3% tax rate increase to fund municipal operations
- Ensuring sustainable fund balance levels for future Councils
- Maintaining our investment in capital and specifically in line striping and paving
Leadership Team Budget Priorities: Over the fall the department heads worked to develop their budgets and came together to propose this FY23 Budget. During that process, we prioritized the following for FY23:
- Maximize the service delivery of 180 Market Street: This will include increased staffing in the Library to extend the hours of operation and adds one staff person to our Physical Plant Team to ensure the building is well maintained.
- Focus on Information Technology Infrastructure for better and more resilient service delivery: With the addition of one new staff person in IT, we will be able to fully utilize the technical resources at 180 Market Street. Additionally, with this budget we will modernize our Police body camera and cruiser camera technology, implement Office 365, and automate our planning and zoning permitting systems.
- Focus on capital planning strategy and connecting to maintenance: With the addition of one staff person to oversee City-wide capital projects and enhance the connection to our maintenance team, we look forward to efficiently bringing the community new infrastructure projects.
- Maximize ARPA funding for one-time costs: $230,519 is recommended to continue to fund (on a stepped down basis) the positions approved by the Council in July 2021 and $672,000 to fund important capital investments in public safety and technology. If approved, there will be an additional $4.5M in ARPA funds for community consideration in the months to come.
Proposed FY23 Budget – the Numbers: We recommend a total General Fund budget of $28,473,095.88 with $18,024,429.89 (or 63.3%) to be raised by property taxes. This would result in an estimated FY23 operational tax rate of $0.4438 or an increase of 2.02% from FY22. For the average condo owner, this would result in an additional payment of $2.12 per month and for the average primary residence owner, this would result in an additional payment of $3.17 per month. With the Penny for Paths and Penny for Open Space this would result in a total FY23 estimated tax rate of $0.4638.
Please review the materials we’ve shared with the community here: https://www.southburlingtonvt.gov/departments/finance/fy_23_budget.php.
It’s my sincere honor to bring to the community my first proposed budget. As always, if you have questions or ideas to share, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to Deputy City Manager, Andrew Bolduc at email@example.com.
Jessie Baker, City Manager