The City Council reviewed the draft budget for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) on May 11, 2020. The Public Hearing for the budget was May 26, 2020, and the budget was adopted on June 8, 2020. The fiscal budget year begins on July 1 each year. In developing the annual budget, city staff rely upon a variety of planning documents, including the Comprehensive Plan 2030, the five-year Capital Improvement Plan, the FY2018-2020 Strategic Plan and the newly adopted Parks Master Plan. The budget is guided by the principles of maintaining high service levels, responsiveness to the needs of residents and businesses, preserving long-term financial stability and providing for well-planned capital investment to preserve infrastructure and facilities. FY21 will be a particularly challenging year due to the severe economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The city’s General Fund relies heavily on Intergovernmental Revenues, including sales tax (43% of revenues) and utility licenses (38% of revenues), and these revenues sources have essentially been flat for several years. As sales tax revenues are received by the city more than two months following their submission by retailers to the state, the impact of the coronavirus on the city’s budget has not yet been realized.
Sales tax revenues are expected to be down substantially in FY21, and staff will be monitoring all revenues closely and adjusting programs and services accordingly. General Fund revenues are expected to be down by at least 6.3% compared to budgeted revenues for FY20. Operating expenditures are projected to decrease 2.4% from what was budgeted in FY20 to $15,205,218.
As a service organization, personnel-related expenditures comprise 72% of the General Fund. In consideration of this fact, the proposed FY21 budget includes a freeze on salaries and no new positions.
Capital Improvement Fund
The proposed budget is based on the five-year Capital Improvement Plan adopted by the City Council on April 27. The half-cent capital improvement sales tax is the major funding source, accounting for approximately $2 million in projected FY21 revenues. The city has been successful in obtaining approximately $893,000 in grant funding for FY21 capital projects. Proposed Capital Improvement Fund expenses include $4,142,184 for projects, although some projects will likely be deferred to future years depending on how revenues are affected by COVID-19.
Municipal Enterprise Fund
The Enterprise Fund includes operations and maintenance of the golf course and ice arena. Operating revenues are projected to increase by 16.27% to $1,139,130, due to the coronavirus pandemic decreasing revenues in FY20, as well as a projected increase in green fees for FY21. Operating expenses for the Enterprise Fund are anticipated to increase by 4.41% to $1,173,700, due to an increase in cleaning and painting of the ice arena, equipment purchases and an increase in normal operating expenditures.
Public safety sales tax fund
A countywide half-cent public safety sales tax was approved by voters on April 4, 2017. Cities in St. Louis County receive 5/8 of the revenues based on population. These revenues will help offset the increasing cost of providing high quality police services including maintaining required manpower, competitive salaries and benefits, equipment, technology, training, and maintenance and operating expenses for the new police station.
Fiscal year 2021 budget
Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Document – (To search document by page number, please download PDF file.)