Home News Local News City’s proposed budget adds money for roads, police cars

City’s proposed budget adds money for roads, police cars

Roswell City Manager Joe Neeb, right, talks about the proposed fiscal year 2022 budget during Thursday morning’s Finance Committee meeting as Juan Fuentes, administrative services director, left, listens. (Juno Ogle Photo)

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More money for roads, new police cars and more funds in reserve are among the highlights of the fiscal year 2022 budget presented Thursday morning to the Roswell City Council’s Finance Committee.

The full council will dive into the details of the budget at a special meeting later in the month, but City Manager Joe Neeb gave an overview at the committee meeting.

Councilors and committee members Jason Perry, Jacob Roebuck and Margaret Kennard were joined by Councilor Judy Stubbs and Mayor Dennis Kintigh for the presentation. Committee member Juan Oropesa was absent.

The proposed budget is designed to bring the city back to full recovery from the $31 million in cuts made a year ago as the city faced the uncertainty of how the pandemic would impact revenue, most of which comes from gross receipts taxes.

“We are expanding this budget back to full recovery,” Neeb said of the $127 million proposed budget. “You’re going to see $46 million in projects, so that’s changing from last year’s budget. This year is recommending $20 million more in projects and activities.”

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That will include $13 million for the road fund, with $9.7 million of that slated for projects.

“We are recommending that $250,000 is going to be set aside for sidewalks and assisting individuals with getting some of those improvements done for sidewalks that have been declared hazardous,” Neeb said.

The city received $153,000 in state capital outlay funds for police cars in the 2021 legislative session, and Neeb said the city’s budget proposes building on that.

Ideally, the Roswell Police Department should keep a patrol vehicle for about five years, but the city is at about a seven- to nine-year average, Neeb said.

“We’ve received dollars from the legislation for four new cars and I’m recommending that we buy 10 more. That is built into the budget for those capital improvement plans,” Neeb said.

Neeb said the budget will also build up the city’s reserve funds. The state requires cities to have enough in reserve to cover one month of general fund expenses. Last year, the city set aside three months’ worth of general fund expenses. The proposed budget will add another month, Neeb said.

“I believe at that point in time having four months coverage for the general fund allows us enough reserves for that rainy day if we have to adjust our expenses for any one of those important services that are in that account,” Neeb said.

The presentation was for information only so the committee took no action. Committee members did vote on two scheduled action items on the agenda.

The committee unanimously voted to recommend to the full council a resolution amending the current fiscal year budget with $13.8 million in revenue and $2.9 million in expenses. The bulk of the revenue came from the collected GRT exceeding what was in the budget, Juan Fuentes, administrative services director, said. The resolution will be on the council’s regular agenda for May 13.

A second resolution authorizing the sale of surplus property will be on the council’s consent agenda. The items include 15 guns from the police department that will be traded in for new purchases.

The committee took no action on a proposal regarding fire hydrants and hydrant meters so councilors could get more information on the current policy and the proposed policy.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.

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