The City of Duncanville is in the process of adopting a new budget for the FY 2016-17. A proposed budget has been developed by staff with direction from City Council and input from citizens of Duncanville. The City Council will now consider the proposed budget at upcoming public hearings and may adopt the proposed budget with or without changes as they desire. The proposed budget focuses on three main goals:
1. Support the City Council’s strategic priorities and ensure continuing and cost-effective, quality service delivery. The proposed budget is what will define the business of City staff for the next fiscal year and therefore, it is extremely important to align the available resources with the priorities established by City Council.
2. Utilize sound financial principles. The proposed budget has been constructed within the context of multi-year financial planning, analysis of the economic environment and trends, and adherence to recommended financial practices and principles such as fund reserve balances and cost accounting methods.
3. Maintain expenditures within expected revenues. The proposed budget is structurally balanced; meaning ongoing operating expenditures are held below expected, ongoing revenues, and fund balance reserves are not used to fund ongoing operations. The proposed budget does not anticipate a tax rate increase and maintaining or lowering the tax rate is a priority consideration when developing the budget.
The City’s budget must reflect the needs of the community. On January 12th of this year, a Town Hall meeting was held in the D.L. Hopkins Senior Center with more than fifty citizens in attendance. Following a budget overview presentation, attendees provided input on what they believed the City should spend more, less, or the same money on and prioritized their responses. The results were highly considered in the creation of the proposed budget and include:
• Less money spent on legal fees. The proposed budget has reduced legal fees by as much as 50% from the amounts spent in FY 2013, FY 2014, and FY 2015.
• More Economic Development initiatives will be possible with an expected 174% increase in the Duncanville Community Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC) Fund Balance achieved in part through cost savings in bond refinancing. These are funds then available for incentive opportunities.
• Construct more on-road and off-road walking and bicycle trails in Duncanville using a Parks and Recreation Master Plan and Trail Master Plan that will guide future priorities and budget efforts.
• Adequate funding for street maintenance to include an additional $1,000,000 proposed to be set aside to “pre-fund” 2018 and subsequent years’ maintenance needs.
• A continued safe and enjoyable 4th of July celebration at Armstrong Park in 2017.
• Increased average wages for Fire/Police Departments to be more competitive with our surrounding markets plus security enhancements for the Police Department.
• Enhanced branding for the Senior Center including a sign reflecting a new name along with interior renovations to the facility.
There is still time for Duncanville citizens to voice their opinion before City Council considers a vote on the proposed budget. A second of two Public Hearings will be held during the City Council Meeting on Tuesday, September 13th at the Duncanville City Council Chambers located at 203 E. Wheatland Road.
The Duncanville City Council will consider approval of the FY 2016-17 Proposed Budget during the Tuesday, September 20th City Council Meeting.