Over the past five months, the U.S. has experienced a financial crisis of size and scale not witnessed since the end of the Great Depression. All of this brought about by a global pandemic known as the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Germantown’s local economy has not been spared as the effects of the pandemic overwhelm the economy at every level. Fiscal year 2019-20 began with a conservative balanced budget that anticipated a healthy transfer to reserves at the end of the year. By March the story was different. Discretionary spending was halted, capital projects were delayed and street paving and infrastructure replacement purchases were canceled. These actions led to FY20 ending with a balanced budget. However, the COVID-19 crisis continues to impact our economy and, in turn, our fiscal year 2021 (FY21) budget.
Staff from administration and finance and budget has worked closely with department directors to develop a budget that takes into account the drastic reduction in budgeted revenues and continues to fund the services levels that Germantown residents expect.
In summary, the proposed budget for FY21 totals $155,479,472 and is a 15 percent reduction from the prior fiscal year.
The General Fund operating budget totals $57,103,123 and represents a 6 percent reduction from FY20.
The Enterprise Funds including Utilities, Germantown Athletic Club, Stormwater, The Great Hall, and Solid Waste, total $21,558,761 and represents a 12 percent reduction from FY20. The Internal Service Funds total $2,093,703 and represents a 6 percent increase over FY20.
The Special Revenue Funds total $70,288,885 of which GMSD is the largest component at $64,743,963 and represent an 8 percent reduction from FY20. And finally, the City’s Capital Improvement Program total for FY21 is $4,435,000 an 80 percent reduction from FY20.
The following are a few key take-aways from the proposed budget which is scheduled for second reading and public hearing on Monday, August 10.
• Budgeted revenues are down 6.4 percent from FY19 actuals and 4.6 percent from FY20 estimate. This reduction is driven primarily by a reduction in revenues from sales tax and hotel occupancy tax, estimated at $3.4 million compared to FY20 budget.
• General fund expenditures are 5.6 percent lower in FY21 than in FY20 budget. Core services and maintenance are intact. Discretionary spending and travel budgets are significantly reduced. In total, non-public safety lines are reduced by $4.3 million compared to the FY20 budget.
• The budget does not include a merit increase for general government employees. There are no plans for layoffs. Vacant positions will be left open. There is no increase in insurance premiums or co-pays for employees or dependents.
• Capital improvements projects are almost entirely limited to those that receive significant state or federal grant funding.
As allowed by Governor Lee’s most recent executive order, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting scheduled for Aug. 10 will take place virtually beginning at 6 p.m.
The second reading and public hearing for the fiscal year 2021 budget is included in this meeting agenda.
Anyone wishing to speak for or against this request is invited to participate. Submittals, 500 words or less, emailed to [email protected] prior to noon on August 10 will be delivered to all members of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen prior to the 6 p.m. meeting.
Comments must include the name, address and phone number of the person submitting.
To view the public meeting, visit Germantown-TN.gov/government/city-boards-commissions/watch-live-or-archived-meetings to view the video conference. The meeting may also be viewed on Comcast channel 17 and AT&T uVerse channel 99.
The entire budget is available on the City website at Germantown-TN.gov/FY21.