The Brookings City Council has adopted a $22.1 million budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2017.
Under the funding plan, the City would sustain current levels of service while providing for no net increase in the number of employees.
General Fund expenditures…which fund basic City services like police, fire, parks and planning…are expected to total $4,374,539. The major sources of General Fund revenues is property tax…estimated at $2,511,282 …State apportionment of cigarette and liquor taxes, and franchise fees.
The Police Department budget alone is $2,114,007. Police and fire expenditures combined are equal to about 61 per cent of the General Fund, and this does not include the $165,000 received from State 9-1-1 funds that are used to assist in funding the operation of the dispatch center.
“What this means is that we rely on smaller individual sources of revenue, like business license fees and transient occupancy taxes, to make up the difference and pay for services like parks,” said City Manager Gary Milliman.
The budget anticipates $60,000 in revenue from the new tax on marijuana sales. “One of the reasons we are pursuing an increase in utility franchise fees to levels that are more common statewide is to generate sufficient local revenue to sustain services,” Milliman said.
The overall budget anticipates $290,000 in fuel tax revenues that would be spent on street improvement projects.
The City’s largest single operation in terms of expenditures is wastewater, with collection and treatment budgeted at $3,689,300. Water treatment and distribution is budgeted at $1,981,500. The budget includes a 3.8 per cent increase in water rates and a 3.0 per cent increase in sewer rates effective July 1.
Employee benefit costs are continuing to rise and Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) rates are budgeted at between 19.21 and 27.78 per cent of salary, with the actual rate based largely upon the date the employee was hired and whether they are a public safety (police/fire) employee.
The budget includes a $458,177 payment on a water loan and a $1,244,339 payment on a wastewater loan.
Capital expenditures include partially-grant funded parks improvements, the Railroad Street reconstruction project and $40,000 in continuing repairs and upgrades at the Salmon Run Golf Course.
While the number of employees remains unchanged, the funding plan includes an additional full time parks maintenance worker and the elimination of one now-vacant position at City Hall. The budget includes an allocation of 2.8 per cent of payroll for increased pay and benefit costs.
The complete budget document is scheduled for posting on the City’s website by June 26.