Update to this post: the Town Council approved the 2024 budget by approving on 2nd reading Ordinance 23-24.
Tonight the Town Council should approve the operating budget for the town for 2024. The total proposed general fund budget is $12,300,020. The town also uses other funding sources which are shown in the chart below. It includes the Motor Vehicle Highway Fund, the Local Road & Street Fund (from a percentage of the state gas tax), the Parks & Recreation Fund, and two other funds named the Cumulative Capital Improvement Fund and the Cumulative Capital Development Fund.
Department heads submit their requests and the council must decide where funds will be spent in any given year. Like your home budget, it can change throughout the year as needs change or emergencies happen. But it is a great estimate that we do our best to stick to when possible. In my opinion, a budget that is done for an entire year needs to be a “living and breathing” document that highlights the best estimates for the town and is reviewed often to see how we’re doing.
I will be relieved when the budget is passed tonight. It brings to a close a lengthy process of number crunching and tough decision-making. Like your home budget, we never seem to have enough to do all of the ideas we have. It comes down to prioritizing what the town needs. What is of most importance is making sure we can provide basic services.
When you dial 9-1-1, a police, fire, or ambulance will arrive as soon as possible. The plow trucks are out when it snows more than 2 inches clearing your street, and we keep the roads in good repair and open. Overall, we do pretty well for a town our size with over 36,000 residents and over 100,000 daily visitors. Please note in the pie chart that our police department accounts for half of the total general fund budget!
Let me know if you have questions. I know it is a lot of numbers! -Rick Bella, Ward 5 Representative and Town Council President