With the new year drawing closer, Powell City Council held the first reading for its proposed 2022 budget during Tuesday’s council meeting. For the first time since residents passed the income tax restructuring in May, the city will a few extra dollars with which to plan moving forward.
“This is probably one of the most exciting budget documents I’ve had the chance to work on because of the hard work that was done by council, staff, and the community at large to restructure the city’s income tax, which completely changes the conversation of budgeting the city of Powell,” City Manager Andy White said during Tuesday’s meeting. “I think from this day forward, it really sets up an exciting conversation about the transformative things that we can consider bringing to our constituents for the support that they showed us back in May 2021.”
According to documents for the budget, nearly 80% of the city’s general fund revenue is made up of income taxes. City income tax collections are estimated to total $6,523,501 for 2021 and $6,609,633 for 2022. Property taxes, which account for just 7.5% of the 2021 general fund revenue is estimated to total $731,452.
The summary of the city’s general fund shows the proposed budgeted revenues to total $8,780,566 in 2021. The proposed budgeted expenditures are shown to be $9,034,562. In 2022, the total estimated expenditures is projected at $9,387,293.
In a breakdown of the expenditures for the upcoming year, funding to the Powell Police Department is expected to make up 38% of the expenditures. Public service expenditures such as the parks and recreation department make up the next highest portion of the city’s expenditures at 15%, while development and engineering are estimated to make up 14%.
White said the 2022 budget, if approved, will see a $1.5 million increase for street maintenance, bike paths and sidewalks. He added that the increased dollars will be “in coordination with the recent policy changes we made to shift the burden of sidewalk maintenance from the constituent back to the city as part of our annual maintenance program.”
White went on to say that if the budget is approved by council as it is currently proposed, the city will have approximately $4 million in “discretionary resources” available. He said that following discussions with the city’s Finance Committee, it was recommended that the first priority would be moving $1 million of the available dollars to the side to cover any unforeseen expenditures.
With the remaining $3 million, White said funding the city’s Capital Improvement Program would be the second priority. Included in the program would be land acquisition, strategic annexation, and economic development.
Following the presentation of the budget by White, Councilman Tom Counts pointed out the very nature of a budget is to serve as a planning document, but simply approving the budget isn’t the end of the planning.
“I think, most importantly, what our residents need to know is that we’re going to be watching this like a hawk because we honestly do not know what our revenues are going to be, our expenditures are going to be changing, and we just need to make sure that we don’t get ahead of ourselves,” Counts said.
The second reading of the budget will be held during the next council meeting, which is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 7. White said it is his hope that the budget will be approved at the meeting in order to begin implementing the plan.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.