Raleigh City Manager Ruffin Hall unveiled the City’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 and the proposed Five-year Capital Improvement Program for FY20-FY24 at today’s City Council meeting. The proposed budget strengthens our foundation in our workforce, operations, and infrastructure.
"Balancing a city budget is never easy, and this year’s budget process presented unique challenges as the service demands and growth pressures are outpacing our revenue growth," Mr. Hall wrote in his budget message to the City Council. "We took this opportunity to strengthen our foundation, prioritizing our commitments to employees and the community above the demands for new or expanded services. Working within the confines of limited resources, we carefully examined our community priorities articulated in the Strategic Plan, the 2018 Community Survey, and the FY2020 Resident Budget Priorities Survey, and used those to guide our choices."
The proposed net operating and capital budget for FY20 is $1.04 billion, which includes a General Fund total operating budget of $518 million. The proposed budget is a 6.7 percent increase from the FY19 adopted budget.
The proposed FY20 Capital Improvement Program totals $388.9 million, with the total for five years (FY20-FY24) being $2.07 billion.
The budget proposal maintains a property tax rate of 43.82 cents per $100 assessed property value. The City Manager proposes a $0.75 increase in the monthly sewer administration fee to ensure cost recovery for the sewer service, and a $1.50 increase in the monthly Solid Waste fee to stabilize the current level of service.
FY20 begins July 1, 2019 and ends on June 30, 2020.
STRENGTHENING OUR FOUNDATION IN WORKFORCE
The proposed budget continues the pursuit of investing in our employees to meet the Strategic Plan goal of fostering a transparent, nimble organization of employees challenged to provide high quality, responsive, and innovative services efficiently and effectively. The FY20 budget proposes adjustments to maintain a competitive compensation and benefits package, including:
- Adjustment to the living wage rate from $30,340 to $32,090 in accordance with the Council-adopted living wage policy, which applies to all regular, full-time employees;
- Funding for annual merit increases for public safety open range and general step employees at three percent or five percent; and
- Employees in the broadband pay structure will be eligible for 1% to 6% merit increase, based on performance.
STRENGTHENING OUR FOUNDATION IN OPERATIONS
- With limited new resources available for the fiscal year, this budget focuses on strengthening our foundation and funding our prior commitments. The proposed budget continues our investments in public safety, customer service, and community engagement, including:
- Continued modernization of the Fire Department’s fleet and equipment, replacing two engines and water and trench rescue equipment;
- Funding to purchase land for an emergency vehicle operations course, and for the complete replacement of Fire Station 1;
- Funding to expedite police vehicle upfit and facilitate the opening of the Police Department’s new southeast district station on Rock Quarry Road;
- Two new positions in Development Services and one in City Planning to respond to growth pressures, enhance customer service, and add capacity and oversight for ensuring plan review accuracy;
- A new position in Housing and Neighborhoods to support the Human Relations Commission and provide community relations; and
- A position in Engineering Services to support City-owned facility growth, and a position in Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources in response to City park growth.
STRENGTHENING OUR FOUNDATION IN INFRASTRUCTURE
As the City of Raleigh continues to grow, the FY2020 budget proposal and FY 2020-2024 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) reflect funding for affordable housing and a well-connected transportation system that supports multimodal forms of transportation, including:
- $13.6 million in FY2020 in support of the adopted Affordable Housing Improvement Plan for both new construction and preservation, adding a total of 645 affordable housing units;
- Funding for ongoing infrastructure maintenance of our water and sewer systems, with $180.8 million planned for FY2020 for interceptor upgrades, asset management, and expansion at water and wastewater treatment plants;
- The FY2020 Wake Transit Work Plan includes $37.2 million for the New Bern Bus Rapid Transit, a GoRaleigh/GoWake Access Paratransit Operations and Maintenance Facility, a total of 15 new expansion and replacement buses, park and ride enhancements, and bus shelters and stop improvements with an additional $11 million for general transit projects;
- $72.5 million to fund street maintenance and major improvements, bridge repair and replacement, neighborhood connection enhancements, pedestrian and bicycle projects, and downtown parking improvements; and,
- Major Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources projects including $5 million in greenway improvements and repairs, $1.65 million for Brentwood Park improvements, $1 million for John Chavis Memorial Park, and $1.2 million to complete Laurel Hills Community Center renovations.
BUDGET DELIBERATION PROCESS
A public hearing on the proposed budget and CIP will be held Tuesday, June 4 at 7 p.m. in the City Council chamber on the second floor of the Avery C. Upchurch Government Complex, 222 W. Hargett Street.
The City Council will hold budget work sessions on each Monday in June if needed. All sessions will be held at 4 p.m. in the Council Chamber, and will be streamed live on RTN11 (97.5).
The budget must be adopted by July 1. The complete budget proposal is available on the City's budget page. Bound copies of the proposal may be reviewed in the City Clerk’s office. For more information, contact the City’s Budget and Management Services Department at 919-996-4270.