City approves tentative budget, final budget to be considered May 21

By Philip Haldiman
Independent Newsmedia

The Peoria City Council approved the tentative Fiscal Year 2020 budget and Fiscal Years 2020-29 capital improvement program.

The council approved the tentative budget at $670 million and the 10-year capital improvement plan at $726 million, including the FY 2020 capital budget at about $256 million.

State budget law requires a jurisdiction to adopt a tentative budget that sets the maximum level of appropriation for a fiscal year.

The adoption sets $670 million as the maximum legal expenditure limit for the Fiscal Year 2020 annual budget.

The tentative budget does include $59 million in contingency appropriation within the total budget. Throughout the year, only the City Council has the ability to utilize this contingency appropriation to address unexpected needs or emergencies.

Council consideration of the final budget is scheduled for May 21. Approval  appropriates the first year of the CIP, providing the budget authority required to expend money on projects scheduled for FY 2020.

It is recommended that the annual budget for FY 2020 be in place by July 1, 2019, in order to have continuing legal authority to make payments for salaries, expenses and other obligations of the city of Peoria.

The new total budget is up nearly 4% from last year and will include a small increase to utility rates, but no increases to taxes. The budget for the general fund, the city’s primary operating fund, is $163.8 million — a 6% increase over last year.

The city has 1,250 employees and the budget includes funds for an additional 28 full-time employees. Eight of these will go to the parks and recreation department, partially to work the new Paloma Park, which broke ground April 30. Eight will also go to public safety, largely to fund the city’s new ambulance fleet, and six to the public works department, which are funded by enterprise fees.

The tentative capital budget for Fiscal Year 2020 represents a 1.57% increase over the Fiscal Year 2019 plan, while the 10-year capital improvement program represents, a 2.8% increase from last year’s program.

The recommended CIP includes investments in economic development, parks, roadways, public safety facilities, and water and sewer infrastructure.

The plan includes funding for the construction of several major projects already underway, including the expansion of the Pyramid Peak Water Treatment Plant, and the Happy Valley Road widening between Lake Pleasant Parkway and the Agua Fria River.

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.

The Meadows home community, near Lake Pleasant Parkway and Deer Valley Road, will receive a new neighborhood park as part of this CIP.

Philip Haldiman can be reached at 623-876-3697 or  

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