Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Council To Consider $151.2 Spending Limit For 2025 Tonight

$151.2 million expenditure limit 
Tonight, the Town Council will approve an expenditure limitation of $151,210,253 for fiscal 2025. This is the first step in a two-part process for approving the budget for the year. The second part, where the Town approves the actual budget, will take place in two weeks.

This limit is the only absolute control council has over spending
The expenditure limitation is the only control the Town Council has over spending. This limitation ensures that overall spending is kept in check, even though individual budget items may not see significant changes through council discussions. Discussions around individual budget items, such as those conducted in council study sessions on May 8 and 9, are interesting; however, these discussions rarely result in significant changes to the spending proposed by town staff. This has been evident in this year’s budget process to date.

$5.2 Million less than what the Town Manager wanted... achieved by reducing "contingency reserves"

The expenditure limitation is $5.2 million less than the amount requested in the town manager's recommended budget. This difference stems from a reduction in what the town calls contingency reserves. Contingency reserves are funds set aside in the budget to cover unexpected expenses and unforeseen events.  They can be set at any level desired. The total included in the budget for these reserves now is $8.2 million, with $6.0 million of that amount under the control of the town manager in the "unassigned" and "administration" departments.

Key budget adjustment is in the water department contingency reserve
A notable change occurred when the town reduced the Water Fund by $11.5 million after increasing spending on the NWWRDS project by $6.1 million. Other than this, there is only a minor difference between what was recommended by the town manager for fiscal 2025 and what is being proposed by the Town Council, as presented in the detailed budget information provided.

Want to learn more about the 2025 budget?
Read our analyses of the Town Manager Recommended Budget. It is the same budget as is currently proposed with the exception of the items noted in this article.
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