The second of three public hearings for approval of the City of Avon’s 2023 budget takes place this Tuesday, November 15. Community members are invited to vote on spending priorities and provide feedback before the budget is finally passed on December 13. .
According to a draft of the proposed budget for 2023, the city’s overall operating revenue is expected to remain consistent with 2022 at $40.7 million, up slightly from $40.2 million this year due an expected increase in sales tax revenue.
General fund expenditures will increase by approximately $2.5 million, of which $439,169 will be used to fund five new positions. Three of the positions are full-time, including a program supervisor and aquatic coordinator for the recreation center and a new building technician.
The proposed budget also includes a partial-year Geographic Information Services Manager to develop a system for mapping city assets and services and a partial-year long-range planner to assist in the training of the Downtown Development Authority.
The Community Housing Fund, which is funded by the 2% short-term rental tax, has planned $2.6 million in spending for 2023, nearly half of which will go to expanding the restriction program Mi Casa acts. The other half will fund further work on potential housing development in Swift Gulch, East Avon Parcel and Tract Y.
Support local journalism
The total fund balance will drop from $36.5 million at the start of 2023 to $27 million at the end, largely due to an increase in capital improvement fund spending, but City Manager Eric Heil said the city remains in good financial health.
“The revised budget presented is still very conservative and takes into account the current economic uncertainty, while allowing funding for council goals and priorities related to growth and development, particularly in the areas of community housing, sustainability, long-range planning, recreation, operations, and policing,” Heil wrote in the Nov. 8 budget submission.
Expanding Capital Improvements
This Tuesday, Avon City Council will discuss capital improvement plans for 2023. Nearly a third of total proposed spending in 2023 will go to capital improvements next year, compared to less than a quarter in 2022.
The proposed budget allocates $12.3 million for capital improvement projects, including $9.1 million for maintenance of existing facilities and $3.9 million for new projects and expansions. This funding comes from the Capital Improvement Fund, which is mainly funded by property transfer taxes.
The most expensive item in the proposed 2023 capital improvement budget is $2.2 million allocated for the construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Stonebridge and US-6, followed by $2 million to move forward with the construction of new public toilets on the east side of Nottingham Park.
Apart from these major projects, the majority of capital expenditure will go to road maintenance. Fawcett Road, West Beaver Creek Boulevard from US-6 to Avon Elementary School, and upper Buck Creek Road are scheduled for construction in 2023. Portions of Swift Gulch Road and Old Trail Road will be designed in 2023 and built in 2024.
The city council will discuss the prioritization of capital projects as they are currently budgeted, but Heil noted that costs and planning will need to be flexible and revisited in 2023 due to the volatility in the economy.
“The proposed capital improvement projects require even more work,” Heil wrote in the city council report. “Specific projects are more on the move this year due to the dramatic increase in construction costs, the shift in priority of some repairs such as the maintenance of recreation trail guardrails and the removal of broadband upgrades. , schedule and cost uncertainty due to planning, design and cost estimation for some projects.
A full breakdown of all proposed capital improvement projects in 2023 is available for review on the city’s website.
Reduce expenses related to special events
The Culture, Arts and Special Events Committee proposed a budget increase of 36.4% for the programming of special summer events, but the members of the city council decided to go in the opposite direction. Instead, the proposed budget for 2023 would reduce the special events budget by $359,450.
This budget reduction will be mainly through the elimination of the position of special events production assistant, the elimination of the Heart & Soul music festival which got off to a soft start this fall and the elimination of the Summer’s End concert.
At a city council meeting on October 25, council members supported a shift in strategy from using special events to attract outside visitors to investing more in high-quality, community-focused experiences such as AvonLIVE! and avoid overlap with other local events.
“There was a Board consensus to propose community-focused events that would attract more modest attendance and rethink proposed new events that would likely conflict with other proposed events during these times,” Heil wrote in the proposal. budget of November 8.
The budget proposal notes that the board and staff will continue to work with CASE to develop a strategic plan that better reflects these priorities and respects current budget constraints.
The November 15 city council meeting will be held at 5 p.m. at Avon City Hall. To participate virtually, register online via Zoom at Avon.org.