Greenville City Manager John Castile presented the City’s proposed FY 2015-2016 operating budget to City Council at the first of two work sessions this afternoon. The proposed budget for all funds is $168,407,751, including a General Fund budget of $76,254,750. This represents an overall budgetary increase of 7.7% and a General Fund increase of 2.2% from the adopted FY 2014-2015 operating budget. There is no increase to the millage rate, which remains at 89.4 mills.
According to Castile, the proposed budget provides a reasoned approach to addressing the ongoing objectives listed below, and positions the City well for future investments:
• Reinvest in infrastructure and equipment to protect existing assets, avoid higher costs in the future and provide greater budgetary flexibility in subsequent years
• Make targeted investments to provide Greenville with an even brighter future through economic development and productivity improvements
• Invest in people to attract and retain a quality workforce
• Reserve financial capacity for signature projects
The hallmark of the proposed budget is funding for significant infrastructure improvements, including:
• $2,375,000 for trail expansion
• $2,250,000 for sewer basin rehabilitation
• $2,100,000 for construction of City Park Phase I
• $1,000,000 for stormwater improvements
• $1,000,000 for the Zoo Master Plan
• $789,083 for fire station improvements
• $700,000 for new sidewalks
• $500,000 for street resurfacing
• $500,000 for parking garage rehabilitation
• $300,000 for Market Point Connector Road
• $250,000 for public safety cameras and infrastructure
• $200,000 for commercial corridor improvements
The proposed budget also includes the establishment of a Capital Project Reserve to fund major capital projects in the future, and $2,270,000 for vehicles and equipment to facilitate implementation of an automated solid waste and recycling collection system. Additionally, the proposed budget recommends an increased GTA subsidy of $225,680 (upon confirmation of county matching funds) to expand system-wide fixed route service hours and trolley service beyond the Central Business District. Although the budget includes drawing down General Fund reserves by about $2,000,000 for one-time capital expenditures, the City’s General Fund balance is projected to remain well above the 20% target.
Property taxes comprise 44.5% of all General Fund revenues and represent the City’s largest revenue source. The estimate for FY 2015-2016 is $33,016,832, which is a 4.8% increase from the FY 2014-2015 property tax budget and reflects growth in real property assessments. Licenses and permits represent the second largest revenue source for the City, comprising 42.9% of all General Fund revenues. Included in that figure is a projected $14,219,337 in locally collected business licenses (excluding insurance companies and telecommunications). The projected growth in that revenue source of 9.7% over the FY 2014-2015 budget reflects year-to-date collections that indicate improving local economic conditions.
City Council’s second budget workshop is scheduled for May 11 and a public hearing on the proposed budget is scheduled for May 18 at 5:30 p.m. in City Council chambers. Following the public hearing, City Council will hold first reading on the budget ordinance. Second reading and adoption of the FY2016-2019 $58.6 million Capital Improvement Program and annual operating budget is scheduled for June 8.
Interested citizens can view the proposed budget online at www.greenvillesc.gov or view hard copies at City Hall in the Greenville Cares office on the 1st floor, the Office of Management & Budget on the 7th floor and the City Clerk’s office on the 10th floor.
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John Castile Matt Efird
City Manager Budget Administrator
(864) 467-5700 (864) 467-4436