Danville officials began its budget and capital improvement project (CIP) review process Tuesday morning, showing that the town continues to gradually recover from the economic recession.
"The 2013/2014 budget is a balanced budget and maintains service levels at current levels. Which as time goes by and additional demands are generated, becomes increasingly more challenging with each passing year," said Town Manager Joe Calabrigo.
The 2013-14 budget, which runs from July 1, 2013 through June 20, 2014, maintains "appropriate reserves" but forecasts slow revenue growth over the next ten years. Service delivery costs are expected to increase and increased workload and service demands will result in longer delivery and response times, the draft budget summary stated.
Expenditures are projected to decrease 2.8 percent to $28.5 million, though police and community development/IT expenditures are projected to increase by 2.6 percent and 14.1 percent, respectively. The latter in crease is largely due to implementation of the IT master plan and completion of the town's retail incentives program, Community Development Director Tai Williams said.
"The retail incentives program and everything we do…resulted in a tremendous amount of goodwill in the business community," Williams noted.
Calabrigo continued that the loss of Danville's redevelopment agency (RDA) last February was a "very serious economic hit." The RDA would have brought $25 million in future funding for Danville capital projects as well as approximately $8 million still owed to the town.
To partially cover this loss and continue with CIPs, Calabrigo suggested transferring $794,591 from the general fund to subsidize the town's pavement management project. Combined with funds from Measure J, the transfer would allow Danville to fund the program by $1 million over the previous fiscal year.
A total of 38 CIPs are recommend for the 2013/14 budget,though Calabrigo did not go into detail about each during Tuesday's study session. The projects call for appropriations of $5.38 million, a decrease of $743,599. Additionally, a backlog of appropriations for to-be-completed projects, totaling $11.04 million, is being chipped away at.
"We're getting caught up and making a good bit of progress," Mayor Newell Arnerich said of the funds, which at one point reached $14.8 million.
Total operating revenues for the town are down 0.6 percent to approximately $30.7 million while general purpose revenues will increase 1.9 percent. Property taxes are expected to increase over the 2012/13 fiscal year with 1.9 percent gains to $11.3 million while sales tax revenues are projected to total $3.78 million a 4.5 percent increase that would exceed the high point of revenue realized in 2011/12.
Charges for service within the Parks and Recreation department are also expected to increase 8.3 percent to $1.78 million. Administrative expenses in the Economic Development Department are going to increase by approximately $25 thousand to help fund Danville's portion of the iGATE program.
The town does not expect to make major cuts to service and instead made note of its lack of pensions and contract policy for many services as sustainable. Although revenues are projected to increase by 8.9 percent by the 2022/23 fiscal year to $33.42 million, Calabrigo noted that Danville will be more dependent on capital reserves.
"Maintaining long-term fiscal sustainability is going to be something we need to look at and work at," he said.
Residents will have several opportunities to read and comment on the budget and CIP plan. Public study sessions are scheduled for May 14 and May 21 at 8:30 a.m. at the town offices (510 La Gonda Way) and and public hearing to consider adoption is scheduled for June 4 at 7:30 p.m.