Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Oro Valley Town Manager Caton To Present $120 Million 2015-16 Budget Request To Council Tonight

Oro Valley Town Manger Greg Caton will present his recommended fiscal year 2015/16 budget to the Oro Valley Town Council tonight. The budget amount of $120.1 million is a 12% increase from the Adopted FY 2014/15 Budget totaling $107.1 million.

El Conquistador Country Club and Community Center has huge impact
Over 50% of the $13million increase in spending over prior year is to support the costs of operating the El Conquistador Country Club  and Community Center. The project is budgeted to lose $600,000 after inclusion of an estimated $2million from the half percent increase in the sales tax that went into effect in March.

Almost 80% of the 16 new positions in the budget are to support the El Conquistador Country Club and Community Center. "The FTE increase attributable to the Town’s new Community and Recreation Center totals 12.36." (TMRB 2015-16 Page iii)

The budget also includes $1.115million for improvements to the El Conquistador Country Club and Community Center. This is for "...for ADA accessibility improvements, aesthetic interior and exterior improvements and golf course improvements." (TMRB 2015-16 Page viii)

Health care "Self Insurance" costs going up
Several years ago, LOVE's John Musolf asserted that the town's change to a self-insured health claim program would result in a one or two year gain. The savings achieved in the early years are really "phantom." This is because there are no preexisting claims at the start of the program.  It seems that our assertions were correct:

"After years of trending low in our health claims costs, we have seen a spike in these costs during FY 2014/15. The FY 2015/16 Recommended Budget includes 10% health insurance premium increases for both the employee and the Town contributions, and it is expected that annual, incremental increases will continue over the next few years in order to adequately prepare for possible future large claims." (TMRB 2015-16 Page iv)

Giving planned at $362,200
The budget plans the following contributions.
  • $30,000 for the Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce
  • $215,000 for Visit Tucson ($175,000 last year)
  • $75,000 for the Oro Valley branch of the Childrens Museum
  • $32,200 for the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance (SAACA)
  • $10,000 for Tohono Chul Park
Police Evidence Facilty On Tap
The Oro Valley Police Department has voiced a need for a police evidence facility. $1.134million is included in this budget to "... begin the design and possible construction" of this facility in 2015-16. The building would occur in 2016-17.

Some New initiatives
The budget includes new initiatives, some of which were pilot tested in 2014-15. These include:
  • The overseeding of Riverfront and Naranja parks ($50,000)
  • A pilot program to test outsourcing as part of the maintenance of Oro Valley parks ($100,000)
  • Use of inmates to perform maintenance and vegetation removal projects ($100,000)
Contingency Fund to remain at higher than required levels
"The estimated year-end contingency reserve balance in the General Fund for FY 2015/16 is $10.2 million, which equals 31% of the recommended expenditure budget. The Town’s adopted policy level is 25%."  (TMRB 2015-16 Page x)

Mr. Caton's presentation tonight should be an interesting one.  We will post it for you to see when it becomes available together with any visual materials.

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