The last several years have offered their challenges for the city as we navigated the impact of the national economic downturn. We made difficult decisions in an effort to maintain city services and programs with no tax increase to our residents.
The FY2013 budget continues the trend of providing a balanced budget with no tax increase while maintaining city service and programs. But thanks to the success of our economic development program and the resulting growth over the past year, we’re able to addresses needs in the area of public safety, capital expenditures, library services and technology improvements.
The general fund budget management and staff presented to council is approximately $38.4, approximately $2 million more than FY12. The total proposed budget for FY13, including all funds and activities, is $134.9 million
In terms of personnel, this budget adds four additional patrol officers to the police department, opens the seven frozen firefighter/paramedic positions in the fire department, fills the five current firefighter/paramedic vacancies and adds two additional fire inspector positions. This plan represents an aggressive move to address public safety needs and restore excellence to these departments.
In capital expenditures the FY13 budget will fund the replacement of 11 police response units and replace a brush truck in the fire department.
We are also adding to library services with the funding of materials that will enable the city to maintain the state certification for the Mansfield Public Library.
That’s some quite significant changes and service improvements, thanks to good business decisions and planning. As we have planned for growth we also made contingency plans for the slowing of growth. Those efforts have proved prudent in the light of the current economic downturn.
But even as the economy slowed, our economic development efforts continued. We promoted our city – its solid infrastructure, excellent quality of life and strong education system. And it paid off. New retail, commercial and industrial development brought additional revenue to the city.
Other economic drivers such as Big League Dreams and Hawaiian Falls saw significant improvement in attendance and revenue, thanks in part to capital investments for artificial turf at BLD and new attractions at the water park. The city’s commitment to growing our tourism industry also played a role in the growth of this sector of our local economy.
Unlike budgets of the last couple of years, the FY13 budget offers new and unfrozen positions, capital expenditures and increases in some service programs. However our city staff continues to be innovative and creative to keep costs low and, in some cases do more with less money, all while providing quality city services for our residents.
We remain considerate of our residents and their tax dollars in maintaining the current rate of property tax and service fees. Yet we also realize the need to provide funding to maintain existing service levels. We believe this budget accomplishes those goals.
We also remain committed to excellence for this community and will continue to provide Mansfield residents the highest quality city service for the best value. And we’re moving forward to do just that.