Recently the Peoria City Council reviewed the proposed Fiscal Year 2021 Budget. The proposed budget, taking into consideration the current economic uncertainty, is $665 million. This is a 0.75 percent decrease from the prior year without any tax increases.
“The FY 2021 proposed budget is a prudent spending plan, but it is not a finished product,” says Peoria City Manager Jeff Tyne. “We are prepared to make adjustments to the final budget throughout the fiscal year as the economic situation evolves to ensure that our financial future is sustainable while meeting the expectations of our community.”
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the related economic uncertainty, the proposed budget was developed as a baseline budget, meaning that it can revert back to the ongoing spending levels of FY 2020. The proposed budget is comprised of four major categories: the operating budget at $313.3 million represents the day-to-day operations of the city; the capital budget at $233.7 million entails large, one-time capital projects; debt service payments at $42.3 million; and contingency reserve at $75.7 million. Also, the city is proposing a 10-year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) of $783.2 million.
“Creating a balanced budget is one of the most important responsibilities of city government,” says Mayor Cathy Carlat. “During this exceptional time, when the far-reaching implications of the COVID-19 pandemic remain unknown, we are focused on keeping taxes low, adhering to our prudent Principles of Sound Financial Management, and ensuring that every action we take is for the benefit of those that call Peoria home.”
The CIP provides a schedule of planned improvements over the next 10 years and identifies the revenue sources that will pay for those improvements. As the community grows, new projects and amenities are needed to serve a growing population and maintain service levels. This has become more challenging as funding sources that were traditionally used to offset these costs are no longer available or have been significantly restricted. This year’s recommended CIP includes major investments in several projects already underway such as the expansion of the Pyramid Peak Water Treatment Plant, the Happy Valley Road Widening between Lake Pleasant Parkway and the Agua Fria River, Paloma Community Park, and a new neighborhood park in the Meadows subdivision. Other notable projects in the CIP include a recreation center at Paloma Community Park, regional drainage improvements at 67th Avenue and Pinnacle Peak, a new fire station in northern Peoria, a planned replacement of the aging fleet building, increased capacity at the Jomax Water Retreatment Facility, and expansion of reclaimed water infrastructure.
The city’s top priority is to preserve the high quality of life Peoria residents have come to expect and the FY 2021 budget provides the financial resources necessary to do that.
For more detailed information, and to download the proposed budget document, visit peoriaaz.gov/budget.