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Peoria City Council Studies Budget for Fiscal Year 2020
Peoria City Council Studies Budget for Fiscal Year 2020
Peoria, Ariz. (April 5, 2019) – The Peoria City Council received the proposed Fiscal Year 2020 Budget at yesterday’s council meeting. The total proposed budget of $685 million services maintains core citizen services and explores ways to enhance residents’ lives. There will be no increases to taxes with only small, but necessary, adjustments to utility rates.
“Balance is the cornerstone of Peoria’s FY 2020 proposed budget,” said Peoria City Manager Jeff Tyne. “The key to Peoria’s continued fiscal health requires balancing the needs of the community with fiscal responsibility while prioritizing public safety, economic development, neighborhood initiatives, youth and recreation, and capital improvements.”
The proposed budget is comprised of four major categories: the operating budget at $311.3 million represents the day-to-day operations of the city; the capital budget at $281.5 million entails large, one-time capital projects; debt service payments at $43 million; and contingency reserve at $49.2 million. Also, the city is proposing a 10-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) of $751.3 million.
As the community grows, new projects and amenities are needed to serve a growing population and maintain service levels. As the Capital Improvement Plan is updated, city leaders took a hard look at the community needs and re-prioritized projects, timing, and funding to create a balanced set of amenities that will serve the community and further council goals. The recommended CIP includes major investments in economic development, parks, roadways, public safety facilities, and water and sewer infrastructure. This includes funding for the construction of several major projects already underway, including the expansion of the Pyramid Peak Water Treatment Plant, the Happy Valley Road Widening between Lake Pleasant Parkway and the Agua Fria River, Paloma Community Park, and a new neighborhood park in the Meadows subdivision. Notable new projects to the CIP this year include bus stops for the new circulator route, a storage building for the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts, a planned replacement of the aging fleet building, a new operations building at the Jomax Water Reclamation Facility , and expansion of reclaimed water infrastructure in northern Peoria.
“Creating and managing a balanced budget is one of the most important responsibilities of city government,” said Mayor Cathy Carlat. “And, as we begin this process for FY 2020, we remain focused on our community’s goals and long-term considerations to ensure every tax dollar is put to work for those that call Peoria home.”
While the economy remained strong, cost pressures to retain current service levels continues to capture much of the gains in revenues. The FY 2020 proposed budget strikes a balance between available revenues and the needs of a fast-growing community. Priority areas within the proposed budget include:
Superior Public Services
In providing superior public services, public safety is at the forefront as a critical component to our residents’ quality of life. This budget underscores the city’s ongoing commitment to this important local responsibility. The Fire-Medical Department will assume complete ambulance service within the city, increasing from four to five full-time city ambulances and adding seven new firefighters and one medical billing specialist. In the Police Department, the budget includes one new police officer to be assigned to an interagency task force that will improve how crimes are investigated in the Criminal Investigations section. Additionally, new vehicles and body worn cameras will be purchased for our patrol division to help the organization continue its emphasis on community based policing.
One of the keys to any community’s quality of life is a vibrant and diversified economic base, with both a qualified workforce and quality jobs. As such, the recommended budget includes investments in a number of economic development initiatives and projects. Additionally, the budget includes some one-time funding to implement our tourism strategy and enhance marketing efforts to draw more visitors to Peoria and the West Valley.
These efforts will be supplemented by several neighborhood-focused initiatives. Funding is provided to support the successful Neighborhood Grant program, which offers financial support to neighborhoods seeking to design and complete various projects within their neighborhood. A new cooperative agreement is planned in the West Valley to provide homeless outreach and system navigation to the homeless in the community. Lastly, the continuation of the park and retention basin refresh programs are proposed to address existing landscaping and aesthetics improvements within and around our neighborhoods.
The city’s first transit circulator will soon begin operations, connecting neighborhoods to local services and regional activity centers. The budget includes funding for a transit master plan that will create a short- and long-term strategy for further enhancing mobility in and around the city. As always, a robust capital program for streets and traffic signals provides funding to continue developing and maintaining Peoria’s roadway network.
Arts, Culture, and Recreation
Peoria has long boasted premier recreation programs and facilities, special events, and arts and cultural programs. The city has a long history of providing family-friendly and culturally diverse events. The FY 2020 budget includes funding to continue these popular events throughout the community. Additionally, the budget supports a number of one-time requests to repair and maintain key amenities at various parks and community facilities throughout the city.
As our city grows, an emphasis of smart growth is our assured water supply. This budget addresses increased water purchases and cost of delivery in providing safe and reliable water to our citizens. Additional equipment operators and an inspector for the solid waste services as well as a full-time street sweeper position will help support the demands of growth.
To download the proposed budget document, visit www.peoriaaz.gov/budget.