At the first budget talk meeting, Chino Valley department directors reviewed their proposed budgets to the mayor and council members May 10.
They will adopt a tentative budget on May 23, which will be posted on the town’s website within five business days. More discussions and a public hearing will take place prior to final adoption on June 27.
The Town’s proposed fiscal year 2017-18 is about $27.7 million.
Finance Director Joe Duffy indicated that although the town’s finances have stabilized, it remains conservative in its approach to the budget. The “rainy day fund” is larger, at $3.2 million than the state requirement of $2.3 million.
“Even though we budget to spend the money, we don’t always spend it all,” Duffy said. He estimates the FY2017 general fund expenditures to end under budget; and expects an 8 percent overall increase for FY2018.
The Chino Valley Police Department includes 30 full-time employees (FTE), with one position vacant and one person in the hiring process. It spends about $256 per citizen per year within a budget of about $3.1 million.
The department is requesting a 14 percent increase in its budget as it faces three financial issues: salary increases, the PSPRS debt, and the need for new vehicles.
Increasing sworn officers’ salaries to local market conditions will help with recruitment and retention, explained Laura Kyriakakis, director of Human Resources.
The new salary schedule includes a 1 percent cost-of-living increase, and also merit increases for an average increase in pay of 6.88 percent. These salary adjustments would cost $103,000 in next year’s budget.
The department is looking at other retention ideas including an increase in differential shift pay, longevity rewards, vehicle usage, and adjusting shift hours from 12 to 10.
The Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS) debt is not as bad as the City of Prescott, Duffy said.
“They have more retirees than active members,” he said, contrary to Chino Valley’s situation. Council may want to consider paying more than the required amount next year, maybe $100,000-$200,000, Duffy advised.
Employee contribution rates will stay the same as last year, at 11.65 percent; however, the town’s rate will go up from 23.8 percent to 33.5 percent, an increase of $150,000 for next year.
Three police vehicles have been removed from use in 2017: two 2008 Dodge Chargers and a 2003 Chevrolet Impala. Several others are no longer suitable for patrol and are used by civilians. Six of the 17 active patrol cars have more than 100,000 miles on them; five are at, or exceed, 10 years in age.
Duffy said included in the budget is a plan to replace six vehicles. Lease payments would increase the budget by $49,000. Having less cars available for use, increases mileage on the others, added Chief of Police Chuck Wynn.
One other request is for $20,000 for heating and air-conditioning repairs.
Enforcing town code relating to animal issues, including operating the animal shelter, administration of dog licenses and rabies vaccination data, answering calls for dog at large, barking nuisances, and cruelty and neglect, ran on a budget of about $128,000 this past fiscal year. This year’s budget request is about $127,000, a decrease of 1 percent.
The proposed town general fund budget of $9.2 million includes Highway Users Revenue Fund (HURF) of $1 million, Enterprise Water and Sewer funds of $4.9 million, capital improvement $4.6 million, grant funding $3.5 million, and other funding less than $1 million each.
For more budget reports on other departments, view the May 24 edition of the Chino Valley Review.