The Town Council goes through a rigorous process for developing the annual budget and capital improvement plan. The process starts with the Town Council Annual Retreat to identify priorities for the upcoming fiscal year and beyond. The Town Manager uses this input to develop the Town Manager Recommended Budget which is formally presented to the Mayor and Town Council. This is followed by a number of meetings and a public hearing over several months to discuss the General Fund, Utility Fund, Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan, and Schedule of Fees.
The Town’s budget is based on the Fiscal Year July 1-June 30. In prior years, the budget was developed between January-June; however, starting in 2018, the Mayor and Town Council will begin the budget process much earlier than normal in order to meet the April 1 deadline for providing the Real Estate Tax Rate to Loudoun County. This requirement is part of a Memorandum of Agreement between the County and most of the towns in Western Loudoun to take over the billing and collection of real estate taxes.
In FY 2015, the Town Council adopted a Fiscal Policy for managing the Town’s revenues and expenditures. The policy has since been revised twice, in June 2016 and August 2018.
FY 2020 Budget
The Proposed FY 2020 Budget Schedule contains the preliminary timeframe and actions for developing and adopting the FY 2020 Budget and Capital Improvement Plan between October 2018 and March 2019.
FY 2o19 Approved Budget
The Town Council approved the FY 19 General Fund and Utility Budgets as well as the FY19-23 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) on June 14, 2018. The General Fund was balanced with revenue and expenses at $1,463,935. The Utility Fund was balanced with revenue and expenses at $2,194,930. The real estate tax rate was reduced from $.21 per 100 of assessed value to $.195 per 100. This will result in an annual savings of approximately $54 per household in FY19.
Water and Sewer rates were held constant at the FY18 level, which is reduction from the proposed increase of 3% originally approved by the Town Council in FY16. Connection Fees and Availability Fees were increased, and will take effect on July 1, 2018. The additional revenue from the increase in these fees will offset the costs to the Town of building additional infrastructure in the future.
Other highlights of the budget are, elimination of the trash fee, the saving of which will accrue to residents. There will be no increase in staffing in FY19, a performance based bonus system was approved for staff, and health care costs were reduced from the prior year.
The Five-Year CIP was approved, including many community-based projects and water and sewer infrastructure improvements. Emphasis in FY19 will be on the planning and engineering of the East Broad Way Improvement project which will extend sidewalks and streetscape improvements from North Light Street to Park Place. The Town recently received a $420,000 grant from VDOT toward completion of this project.
Additionally, the Town Council approved the funding of a water meter replacement program. The new meters once installed will provide more accurate readings and as a result more accurate billing. In addition, the new system will allow for early detection of water service breaks and more timely repairs. Improvements to South Church Street and East Pennsylvania Avenue were approved, and the expansion of Town Hall was postponed for one year.
Prior Year Budget Documents
Following are links to prior year budget documents (TO BE ADDED):