The 2023-2024 Budget was adopted on September 5, 2023.
The budget contains about $173.3 million in appropriations, which is about $12.9 million more than the prior year’s original budget of $160.4 million, due to an increase in personnel and debt service. The budget contains an 13% overall increase in salary for fire and police positions, a 5% across-the-board for other personnel, and an increase in full-time positions from 543 to 550, consisting of four in the General Fund, one in the Information Technology Fund, one in the Stormwater Fund, and one in the Solid Waste Fund. Fund balances for the General and Utility Funds are above or within the targeted range of 60 to 90 days. The Solid Waste Fund balance is below target but the expected refund in the fall of landfill fees paid by the City will help restore the fund balance. The capital program is largely be funded by $77.75 million in Certificates of Obligation issued in September of 2023 with another issue of about $35 million expected Summer 2024. Projects include additional thoroughfares in the Bel Air Planned Development, continuation of the construction of Moore Street, Flanary/Progress Road in the industrial park, rebuild and expansion of Shepherd Road, a design and site acquisition for a new City Hall, major renovation of Central Fire Station, and about $16 million in Parks projects including major upgrades at Fairview, Hawn, and Old Settlers. The property tax rate increased from $.469932/$100 to about $.508/$100 of valuation. The utility rate plan has been re-structured from a flat rate per thousand gallons to tiered rates based on consumption. Tax Notes will be used to finance about $3.9 million in fleet and equipment with repayment made from property tax revenues. More detailed information is available on the attachments.