With the city’s proposed 2014-15 budget complete, the Chandler City Council will host a series of public meetings in May and June to review and eventually adopt a budget that will begin July 1.
The four meetings will include presentations and discussions about the proposed budget, including projects and programs that will be funded as part of the city’s 10-year Capital Improvement Program. Each meeting will include opportunities for the public to comment on the proposed budget.
The total proposed budget is $783.5 million, which is a 2.5 percent decrease from the 2013-14 adopted budget, which was a 3.8 percent decrease from the previous year.
Operating costs increase 6.5 percent under the proposed budget, and the total capital budget decreases by 15.3 percent.
The city’s general fund, which represents 38 percent or $294.8 million of the Chandler’s total budget, increases by 10.9 percent. This primarily is due to increased debt service and capital projects, as well as a planned increase to the general fund contingency, said Rich Dlugas, Chandler city manager.
“The development of Chandler’s budget is a product of thoughtful collaboration between department directors to identify funding priorities and is designed to reflect the needs and desires of the community,” Dlugas said.
The general fund is used to support many of the services residents rely upon most, including police and fire departments, libraries, maintenance of city streets, parks and other infrastructure, and will be a primary focus of the upcoming public budget meetings. General fund revenues largely come from local city sales tax and state-shared revenues.
The public meeting schedule to review and discuss the proposed budget is as follows:
• Budget and capital improvement project briefing, 8:30 a.m. May 2.
• Budget amendment discussion, 7 p.m. May 19.
• Tentative budget adoption, 7 p.m. May 22.
• Public hearing regarding the adoption of the final 2014-15 budget, 2015-24 capital improvement project and 2014-16 property tax levy, with a vote on final budget and CIP, 7 p.m. June 12.
• Property tax levy, 7 p.m. June 26.
All meetings will be in City Council Chambers, 88 E. Chicago St., in downtown Chandler.
“As with previous budgets, we have taken measures to ensure that the city is able to balance its operating and capital budgets over the short term as well as the long run,” Dlugas said. “Despite general improvements in the local, state and national economies, our financial forecast is developed with a pragmatic approach that moderates anticipated revenue growth while continuing to hold the line on expenses.”
The proposed budget is available for review at chandleraz.gov/budget, as well as at the downtown Chandler library, 22 S. Delaware St., and the City Clerk’s Office, 175 S. Arizona Ave.
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