The Kodiak City Council OK’d the fiscal 2021 budget at a regular meeting on Thursday.
The budget for fiscal 2021, which begins July 1, 2020, and ends June 30, 2021, funds the services that the city provides. Services include law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services, public works, engineering, port and harbor facilities, parks and recreation facilities and programs, the public library, and general administrative functions.
Fiscal 2021 budget revenues are projected to increase 5.08% from the current fiscal year, amounting to $40,674,457. Revenues are forecast based on the current fiscal year.
General Fund operating (non-personnel) expenses will endeavor to match projected revenues.
Expenses for all funds, excluding capital projects, are therefore also expected to be $40,674,457, which is also an overall increase of 5.08% from fiscal 2020, City Manager Mike Tvenge said at the meeting.
The General Fund, which provides funding for many of the city's services, uses revenues from sales and property taxes to fund the administrative functions such as tax collection and audits, billing, emergency preparedness, information technology, and management of all city functions, among others.
General Fund revenues for fiscal 2021 are projected at $21,208,992, an increase of approximately 3.25% from fiscal 2020 projections. The General Fund anticipates having a deficit in the amount of $90,470.
The General Fund is also projected to have $9.8 million remaining in the fund balance with five months of operating reserves.
General Fund expenditures include over $6 million for the police and between $300,000 and $2.4 million for finance, fire, public works, engineering, parks and recreation, and library departments, including non-departmental costs.
Salaries, wages and benefits are the largest expense, totaling 48% of the total budget. Salaries and wages for fiscal 2021 are estimated to be $11 million, including a 1.4% cost of living adjustment. Employee benefit costs are projected at $8.8 million.
According to a memo to Tvenge from Kelly Mayes, the previous finance director, police payroll was estimated to increase by $90,949 for fiscal 2021, with a 10% increase for commissioned officers to help retain police and to match wages in other similar sized communities.
The city Fire Department’s payroll is also projected to increase with the request to add four full-time firefighter positions and one staffing reallocation, increasing the budget by $548,345.
Another fund in the budget, the Enhancement Fund, has not been used since 2013 so the city can build up the balance.
According to a message about the 2015 budget from a previous city manager, the funds are held perpetually in trust for the benefit of present and future generations of Kodiak residents in order to stabilize local taxes.
The projected fund balance for the upcoming fiscal year is estimated to be $5.6 million, an increase of $90,000 from this fiscal year.
The upcoming fiscal year's budget projects about $3.8 million in additions to capital projects, including one new capital project and additions to nine existing projects ranging in cost from $25,000 to $1.3 million.
It also includes additional funding for ongoing projects such as annual curb and sidewalk repairs, maintenance projects, and the vehicle replacement fund.
Costs for the projects will be covered through use of capital project fund balances, transfers from the respective enterprise funds, and transfers from the General fund. The city has eight enterprise funds for improvements to the city’s streets, buildings, parks, sewer, water, harbors, and more.
During the city council meeting, Councilor John Whiddon introduced a motion to amend the budget to include $125,000 for city employees to research annexation of borough land located north and south of the city. The motion and ordinance passed unanimously.