Ellard Presents Proposed Annual Budget

On May 17, 2024, City Administrator Andrew Ellard presented a proposed budget for fiscal year 2025 to City Council members and the public in a special called work session at Morristown Landing.
The upcoming year’s budget focuses on building on the foundation of the major undertakings from recent years. The presentation highlighted many of the projects completed in the last year, several larger projects that are underway, and an ambitious slate of capital projects to be undertaken in FY2025. The total general fund budget proposed is $56.9 million and maintains the current tax rate of $1.40 per $100 of assessed value.
Ongoing projects that carry over from the current fiscal year include construction of the new fire station #3 and training facility, upgrades at Frank Lorino Park, and new park additions at Wildwood and Fulton-Hill Parks. Maintenance of current infrastructure will continue to be a priority, with dollars allocated to pave 8 miles of City streets and continue the street rejuvenation program. Citizens will see the construction of a roundabout at Walters Drive and Cherokee Drive as well as a design for the widening at Central Church Road.
The annual budget plan includes necessary equipment purchases for each department such as vehicles, technology, or tools. Major capital equipment purchases this year include:
• New side-loader sanitation truck for Public Works
• New sweeper truck for Public Works
• New fire engine for the Fire Department
• New tactical drone for the Police Department
• Replacement of the gym floor at Talley Ward Recreation Center
• Replacement playground equipment for Wildwood Park
The Storm Water Fund is operated separately from the General Fund to ensure that storm water related costs are covered by storm water related fees. In order to fund necessary storm water projects, the City’s storm water rate will increase from $2.50 per ERU per month to $3.50 per ERU per month. Major storm water projects for FY 2025 include rehabilitating the MAID pond and construction of work along Havley Springs Branch.
Ellard says of this year’s plan that, “The work plan and projects described today lay out what will prove to be a very busy year. We believe that the investments in equipment and infrastructure are well positioned to enable us to continue providing the City with the high-quality services residents expect. We are pleased to recommend such an ambitious plan for this year while still following a very financially conservative approach.”
The City Council is scheduled to consider approval of the budget at its June 4th and June 18th regularly scheduled meetings. The June 18th meeting will include a public hearing specific to the budget. A draft budget document is available at https://bit.ly/4dH8upR
Fiscal Year 2025 begins July 1, 2024.