The Woodstock City Council held a presentation on the proposed fiscal year 2021 city budget at its most recent meeting.
According to information given by Woodstock Budget Analyst Crystal Welch, the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year stands at $45.5 million, a slight decline from the amended budget for fiscal year 2020’s $45.8 million. In a follow-up conversation, Woodstock City Manager Jeff Moon said this slight decline could be attributed to effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic. When broken down by category, Welch said 48% of the budget ($22.03 million) would come from the city’s general fund, 26% ($11.81 million) would be collected by the water/sewer fund, 23% ($10.2 million) was slated to come from special revenue funds such as Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax and impact fees, and 3% ($1.51 million) would be from the storm water fund. During her explanation of the general fund and its components, nearly two-thirds of the projected revenue were set to come from two main sources, taxes and licenses, while approximately 67% of the general fund expenses would be taken by four categories — police, fire, public works and parks and recreation.
At the beginning of her presentation to the council, Welch said that all money in the proposed budget were balanced, and there was no planned rate increase for either the water/sewer fund or the storm water fund. Along with this, Welch said there were a number of suggestions that were being proposed by the budget committee, including there being no cost of living adjustment, a reduction in overtime line items and the recommendation of no out-of-state travel. Along with this, two city positions, assistant city manager for public works and project coordinator, were moved from the general fund to the water/sewer fund (assistant city manager for public works) and storm water fund (project coordinator), while current employee vacancies were held frozen and unfunded.
Welch elaborated further on the topic of no out-of-state travel for events such as training and conferences during her explanation of the budget ordinance provisions that are included every year. Of the provisions recommended to be included, she said this one and a suggestion to encourage the use of comp time instead of overtime were the only new provisions being recommended this year.
Looking at the city’s millage rate over the past several years, Welch said the budget committee proposed keeping it at 6.554 mills, just as it was during fiscal year 2020. She said the proposed budget for 2021 had been based on keeping the rate at 6.554 mills, but the rate would not be adopted by the council until August, following the annual tax digest being received sometime in July.
Following her presentation, Welch reminded the council that public hearings and readings on the budget would begin at the next city council meeting.