GF - 2018 Budget
Doug Barrett | Sep 19, 2017 AT 8:00 am
The Grand Forks council approved a 2018 budget last night that boosts property taxes and utility fees. The spending plan calls for an average two-point-85 percent increase in property taxes and a two-point-95 percent increase in utility rates for the average user next year. City Administrator Todd Feland says there are challenges ahead with revenues - but it’s a good budget plan. Feland says when you add a new fire station...six police officers...plus two dispatchers without raising the mill it's doing a lot in a short amount of time.
The council made one minor change to the budget by opting not to take a planned raise and instead divert the money to salaries. Council member Danny Weigel says the 14 hundred dollars in total savings is not a huge sum but helps send a message.
The general fund portion of the budget will total around 39-million dollars in 2018 – up from 38-point-six million this year.
CITY 2018 BUDGET SUMMARY:
Here is a summary review of what’s included in the 2018 budget:
The 2018 Mayor’s Budget provides for the following:
• Zero mill increase overall
• Decrease in state aid & sales tax projected revenue
• General Fund budget approximately 1% increase as compared to 2017 budget;
o Held General Fund nearly flat in 3 year timeframe;
2016 $38.7M; 2017 $38.6M; 2018 $39M
• at the same time increased focus on public safety
o operational impact of additional fire station, including
o 6 additional police officers (2 in 2016; 4 in 2017 through
o 2 additional dispatchers (1 in 2016; 1 in 2017)
• General Fund 2018–Change in FTE’s – (0.47)
• General Fund includes 50% grant match for 4 police officers (2nd year of grant)
o Grant funding allowed the 4 officers to be hired in 2017, as city share increases
gradually over 4 year period
• Loan & Stabilization Fund
o includes $301,364 transfer to General Fund & use of $292,401 department
carryover to cover capital items to prevent any mill increases
o Project further use of Loan & Stabilization funds in the 6 year projection as we
build capital and capital reserve back up until flood protection mills are available
to get transferred in 2020, 2021 timeframe (this is a reallocation of mills; not an
increase to mills in total to city)
• Total budget with all funds:
Total $237M (2018 budget) vs $211M (2017 budget); $26M increase due to
significant capital project
Water Treatment Plant (WTP) $27M increase as compared to 2017 budget
o Total Operating Budget (not including debt and capital projects):
$118.6M (2018) compared to $119.6M (2017) ; slight decrease overall
• Funding included for internship program (partner with UND 50/50)
• In 2018 one mill estimated to be $221,287 compared to $210,658 in 2017.
o 56.5% of increase due to valuation; 43.5% due to growth
o Keeping mills level required notice of 2.85%, which was given;
• Salary Plan shows wage increase of 2.74% (this is inclusive of market and PFP).
o Preliminary budget funds 2.22%
• Continued funding of Defined Benefit pension plan
o 18 years left on 30 year pan to fully fund (this is a closed plan).
• Social Detox Center
o Share of operations budgeted ($58,000)
• Continued funding of animal control $52,515 from general fund.
o Look to approve similar agreement with approval of budget; just revise for new
• Economic Development Fund includes:
o As we show a 3% decrease in estimated sales tax collections, we have budgeted a
corresponding 3% decrease in the areas of Air Base Enhancement; Arts, Events,
& EDC .