Molalla budget committee approves 2019-20 budget
Molalla's budget for the upcoming 2019-20 fiscal year, beginning July 1, was approved by the budget committee on May 2. The next step is for Molalla City Council approval at its June 12 meeting.
Copies of the city manager's budget message is available on the website and at city hall. This year's total budget is $44,333,912, which includes numbers for the general fund at $6,880,937 for the administration, police, court, city council, parks and planning departments.
Partly because the city is planning on hiring two full-time people, that money is about $2 million higher than last year's general fund budget of $4,861,155. That will include salaries and benefits for the new workers as well as the upgraded economic development plan.
The city has "turned a corner financially that will allow us to produce a little more in areas that meet community needs." -Dan Huff, City Manager
Special revenue funds, which covers the library, streets and the police department restricted fund, total $10,206,003, which is substantially higher than last year's budgeted amount of $4,987,099. Capital project funds total is $11,890,750 for all capital projects planned and for fleet replacement. This is 57 percent higher than the 2018-19 budget of $7,581,712.
Two debt-service funds, bonded debt and water debt retirement, have been paid off. The remaining debt for sewer retirement and CWRSF retirement totals $1,001,946 or about 3 percent lower than the previous year's budget of $1,033,996. SDC funds, which include streets, park, sewer, water and stormwater SDCs are $6,269,595, an increase of 7 percent from last year's $5,885,730. Enterprise funds, sewer, water and stormwater are $8,084,681, or 40 percent higher than 2018-19's budget of $31,646,059.
City Manager Dan Huff noted the budget was developed with a focus on "best-practice" financial policies. In his budget message and at the budget meeting, he noted developing the 2019-20 budget used conservative approaches and noted the city has "turned a corner financially that will allow us to produce a little more in areas that meet community needs."
He explained the city doesn't have budget shortfalls thanks to self-imposed expenditure limits and the conservative approach.
Most important is the council goal and community visioning process to bolster Molalla's planning program by upgrading the planner position and identifying a new planning tech/assistant planner staff member for one full-time person. The second important aspect is identifying and funding, with a potential grant, an economic development plan within the planning department.
Another full-time person, but split half-time for Public Works as a project manager and wastewater treatment operator, will assist the Public Works director and add to the other four employees working at the wastewater treatment plant.