The Town of Paradise Valley adopts FY 20 budget at $68.3M

The Paradise Valley Town Council approved the fiscal year 2019-20 budget at its June meeting. Pictured above during a study session prior to the vote is Town Manager Jill Keimach, on left, and councilwomen Ellen Andeen and Julie Pace. (Independent Newsmedia/Arianna Grainey)

In unanimous fashion, Paradise Valley fiscal year 2019-20 budget, totaling $68.3 million, has been adopted by the community’s elected.

Paradise Valley Town Council June 13 cast one single vote to adopt the final budget, a 2020-24 capital improvement plan and a 2020 strategic revenue plan after hosting a public hearing on the matter. There were no members of the public who spoke on record about the budget.

The resolution passed 7-0.

The annual municipal budget is adopted in June every year, as the new fiscal year begins on July 1.

Douglas Allen

Paradise Valley Chief Financial Officer Douglas Allen presented to Town Council the merits of the budget prior to the vote.

“I just want to point out that this budget contains funding for all department’s operations, payment for debt obligations, contingencies and capital projects, as well as the forecast still shows the town is maintaining a financially stable structure,” Mr. Allen said.

Of the total budget, 36% is spread out across different areas relating to public safety, and 23% is related to the capital improvement projects and streets, Mr. Allen said.

“Over half of the budget is in those areas, for a total of $68.3 million,” he noted.

The breakdown of the budget, as presented by Mr. Allen, is:

  • Police department: $9.4 million;
  • Non-town CIP: $9.4 million
  • New Capital Improvement Plan: $4.3 million;
  • Prior Year CIP: $1.8 million;
  • Fire services: $3.3 million;
  • Scheduled debt payments: $3.2 million;
  • Street improvements: $3.1 million;
  • Wastewater services: $2.8 million;
  • Financial AEL contingency: $6 million;
  • PSPRS unfunded liability: $12 million; and
  • All other expenditures and expenses: $13.1 million.

The town’s revenue stream comes from local taxes, licenses and permits, fines and forfeits, interest on investments and other miscellaneous funds.

Estimated revenues for 2020 include:

  • Transaction privilege (sales) tax: $15.9 million;
  • Occupancy (bed) tax: $4.6 million;
  • Building permits: $919,440;
  • State-shared income tax: $1.9 million; and
  • Court collected fines: $1.9 million.

For the capital improvement plan, the council’s approval authorizes the spending authority for the total CIP and projects — not awarding contracts — Mr. Allen explained.

A capital improvement plan outlines the town’s plan for achieving the goals and objectives desired by the Town Council. The purpose of this plan is to forecast and match projected revenues and major capital needs over a specific period of time.

The total CIP is $6.1 million. If a CIP project needs more funds than is allocated through the adoption process, the money would be taken from a town contingency fund. Likewise, if a project comes in under the estimated cost, the extra funds would go in to the contingency fund, Mr. Allen said.

Lastly, the strategic-revenue plan, which is new for the municipality this year, looked at historical revenue data to forecast what the future may look like. With the projected future outlined, a couple of “stress tests” were put in place to see how the town revenue would act over the course of going through 2025.

Councilman Paul Dembow, on left, with Councilwoman Anna Thomasson at a recent Paradise Valley Town Council meeting. On right is Town Clerk Duncan Miller. (Independent Newsmedia/Arianna Grainey)

The Town Council members didn’t ask any specific questions relating to the budget, but many members did thank or compliment Mr. Allen on a job well done.

“This year has gone so well with the budget — the detail, the amount of time devoted, the segments you gave to understand it,” Councilwoman Julie Pace said.

“I think the charts and systems you’re using on tables is easy to follow for both residents who look this up, as well as ourselves. I think you’ve given a lot of foresight into planning for projections and keeping us on the right path to plan in that way.”

Ms. Pace touched on the work municipal staff has put in to the CIP process, calling it a “big improvement” for the town.

“It’s a big improvement for our town on a higher level of professionalism, and will help ensure we get rid of people trying to get their pet projects in from past elected officials and not really doing things for the long run. This project is now doing things for the long run,” Ms. Pace said.

“It puts it in motion, so other people can’t get elected and try to change it, and harm what really should be done for the benefit of all residents of our community — not just some who live in the area where they can try to divert public dollars. It’s really good to see this.”

Councilwoman Ellen Andeen, who has a background in finance, called Mr. Allen’s work “exceptional.”

“Breaking it down by each department really helped, and I’m especially encouraged by your attention to PSPRS; really getting our heads around where we are and where we want to go with this,” she said. “I look forward to us getting to that 100 percent funded for PSPRS.”

Mayor Jerry Bien-Willner echoed the sentiments of his colleagues, lauding the work of the inaugural strategic revenue plan.

“What that allows us to do is to look at what happens in a worse-case scenario and consider those factors as we’re budgeting in the future,” Mr. Bien-Willner said. “So we’re not just looking at our expenditures, but looking at revenues and the stability of our revenues and making the right choices there.”

News Editor Melissa Rosequist can be reached by e-mail at mrosequist@newszap.com or follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Mrosequist_

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