PURCELLVILLE, Va. – JUNE 19, 2019 — “Following six intensive budget work sessions with the Town Council and management team, we achieved a lean budget for our tax payers yet was able to succeed in maintaining the high level of service delivery that our town has been recognized for,” stated David Mekarski, Town Manager. “Through these discussions, Council and Town staff worked towards achieving a net budget reduction of $1.86 million from the original budget submitted by the Town Manager.”
At its June 11, 2019 Council Meeting, the Purcellville Town Council adopted the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget and Capital Improvement Program (CIP) at a total amount of $23.7 million. The FY 2020 Operating Budget amounts to $19,050,704 which represents an 8 percent reduction from the FY 2019 current operating budget. The Council and management team accomplished this reduction and was able to maintain property taxes at the current rate of .22 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The FY 2020 Operating Budget is broken down by fund as: General Fund - $11,161,577; Parks and Recreation Fund - $583,854; and Utility Funds (Water and Wastewater) - $7,305,273. The CIP budget totaled $4,678,110 and is broken down by fund as General Fund CIP - $3,920,930; Water Fund CIP - $220,400; and the Wastewater CIP - $536,780.
Manager Mekarski emphasized that the success in this year’s budget process was in large part changing the format from a line item budget to a cost center budget where department heads delivered their goals and objectives with their entire team and emphasized a policy, service delivery and how their department was accomplishing the Council’s adopted strategic initiatives.
This year, the Town Council not only discussed service delivery and requested new initiatives to enhance the programs and services for our community, they also spent a significant amount of time in the work session process to begin to analyze the water and sewer enterprise accounts toward a goal of reaching long-term structural balance. The management team introduced, for the first time in the Town’s history, a sophisticated interactive financial modeling of all three of the Town’s fund accounts allowing both Town Council members and the general public to see both the benefits and costs to service delivery from various scenarios suggested by the Town Council.
Mayor Kwasi Fraser stated “this year’s financial modeling greatly assisted the Council in its deliberations and decision making; we will continue to model all three funds early in the fiscal calendar year to establish a plan for long-term prosperity from an objective and key results perspective.”
The General Fund operating budget maintains it service levels for Town residents, such as weekly residential trash and recycling services, and quicker response times for street maintenance, snow removal, police protection, and building and zoning services. The FY 2020 General Fund budget continues to work towards providing the resources necessary for the Town’s Police Department to provide 24 hour / 7 day a week services and fast response times. The FY 2020 budget enhancements includes one patrol officer and overhire authority for another patrol officer, and realign the Police Department’s managerial command to provide greater accountability within the Department. The enhancements also include converting a part-time accreditation manager to a full-time position that provides additional accountability to 21st century policing. Finally, the General Fund transfers $200,000 to initiate the start of identifying a temporary police headquarters and conduct a preliminary analysis and needs assessment for a permanent building. The amount will be used to fund preliminary site analysis, engineering and design.
The FY 2020 Utility Fund budgeted operating cost decreases one percent over the FY 2019 current budget. The Town’s Utility Fund budgets maintained the current cost levels and avoided large infrastructure outlays, while the Council and Town staff continue to review different options to increase non-rate revenues and assess operational costs and infrastructure needs. In addition, the Town continues to work with the Town’s financial advisor and utility rate consultant to optimize the best scenario for the Town’s tax and utility rate payers.
The Town’s Capital Improvement Project for FY 2020 includes $3.7 million of new transportation and pedestrian projects through an allocation of funds from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA), Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), and designated Town proffers. No Town tax dollars are being used on the transportation and pedestrian FY 2020 Capital Improvement Projects. The funds are dedicated to projects along local roadways to improve traffic operations and make Purcellville a walkable community.
As part of the budget adoption, the Town Council also approved the Master Tax and Fee Schedule for Fiscal Year 2020 (the Real Estate and Personal Property Tax Rates were adopted in April). No changes in the tax rates were adopted. Changes to Town fees include increases to the water and sewer usage rates by 3 percent. While the FY 2020 budget will maintain current service levels, many important decisions will be made throughout the fiscal year in developing the FY 2021 budget and beyond that may affect tax and utility rate setting and Town service levels. Town residents are urged to attend and openly participate in the upcoming Town Council meetings and work sessions scheduled in FY 2020.
More information on the FY 2020 Budget is at: http://www.purcellvilleva.gov/budget