Departmental budget presentations began at a special City Council Workshop tonight following City Manager Ron Olson’s delivery of the Fiscal Year 2020 Proposed Annual Budget August 6. The core function areas of Public Works, Recreation Services and Public Safety were presented.
Olson organized the 2,012-page proposed budget by core function area this year rather than by fund as in previous years.
“I think it is important for the public to understand the core, frontline services the City provides and the internal functions necessary to support those services,” he said of the change. “This helps establish expectations and create mission focus.”
A budget summary and fund overviews were presented at last week’s special meeting showing a balanced $209 million proposal with an ending fund balance of 21.6 percent and no proposed tax rate or utility rate increases. Detailed departmental presentations by core function began tonight.
Public Works presentations included Administration, Environmental Services, Solid Waste, Street Operations and Water and Sewer. Each of these divisions is funded wholly or partly through enterprise funds, which are supported by fees for use.
Recreation Services makes up more than 12 percent of the General Fund Budget. Its service areas include Libraries, Animal Services, parks and recreation services and facilities, Volunteer Services and Senior Centers.
Public Safety comprises 85 percent of the General Fund Budget. Its presentations included Fire and Municipal Court. Police, Building Inspections and Code Enforcement will be presented at the next workshop.
Each presentation featured the division’s primary mission elements, performance indicators and revenue and expense projections. The online version of the budget provides the presentations as well as line item detail for each division.
The proposed budget includes one major new program throughout. Compensation Equity Phase 2 is an organizational adjustment to employee pay that would make the City’s pay structure more competitive in the marketplace. A recent assessment shows that City of Killeen employee pay is an average 25 percent behind comparable cities with some positions well over 30 percent behind. The proposal would bring the civil service pay plan to within 95 percent of market and the non-civil service pay plan to within 85 percent.
“Our employees give an honest day’s work, and we owe them an honest day’s pay,” Olson said of the pay adjustment. He identified compensation as a strategic issue during last year’s budget deliberations and has dedicated nearly $4.5 million to addressing it in this year’s proposal.
Because of the significant investment in compensation, few new programs were able to be included in the proposed budget. Notable inclusions are $105,000 dedicated to Animal Services for veterinary care and animal needs and supplies. The Water and Sewer budget is proposed to receive an additional $134,500 for fire hydrant maintenance and water loss/conservation programs.
Budget discussions will resume August 20 with a continuation of Public Safety followed by Community and Economic Development, which includes Aviation, Community Development, Convention and Visitors Bureau, Civic and Conference Center, Arts and Activities Center and Planning and Development. Also scheduled are Support Services, which include City Auditor, City Manager, Building and Custodial Services, Communications, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, City Attorney and Engineering.
A central budget webpage, KilleenTexas.gov/Budget, contains links to all documents, presentations, notices and videos in one location. In addition to viewing materials, the public is encouraged to engage in the process by attending budget workshops and participating in the budget public hearing September 4.
The Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Budget is scheduled for adoption September 17. It will begin October 1, 2019 and end September 30, 2020.