Springfield commissioners approve 2020 budget, $50M general fund

NEW: Commissioners with the city of Springfield have approved the city's budget for 2020. TY GREENLEES/STAFF
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NEW: Commissioners with the city of Springfield have approved the city's budget for 2020. TY GREENLEES/STAFF

Springfield commissioners have approved the city’s budget for next year that includes a general fund of nearly $50 million, with a large portion of that going towards personnel services and public safety.

Next year’s budget also includes $6.7 million expected to go into the city’s permanent improvement fund as several neighborhood street paving and infrastructure projects have been scheduled for 2020.

Commissioners approved the proposed budget during its meeting on Thursday.

Springfield is expected to collect about $47.5 million in general fund revenue next year, including $37.5 million in income taxes. The city is projected to spend about $50 million, leaving a projected deficit of about $2.5 million.

However, city officials say the deficit will be covered by the city’s “rainy day” fund that is projected to have about $10 million by the end of this year. They also expect to see a budget surplus in 2021 and 2022.

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“We try to balance (the city’s) needs with the ongoing need to watch the bottom line,” said Springfield City Commissioner David Estrop.

“This seems to be a year (2020) where we can do a little more with our spending,” he added.

During their meeting on Thursday, city commissioners voted to authorize City Manager Bryan Heck to enter into a contract with Major Enterprises for next year’s Broadway reconstruction project for an amount that does not exceed approximately $2.9 million.

The project, included in the 2020 budget, aims to reconstruct portions of the street that are between North Bechtle Avenue and Park Road. It will include sidewalk, curb, gutter and sewer work as well as paving. A large portion of that project will be covered by state funding, city officials said. Construction is slated to start in February.

The city also approved a three-year contract with the Police Patrolmen’s Association, a bargaining unit that represents Springfield patrol officers, that includes a 4% pay increase for each year of the contract.

“We have approved similar contracts with other bargaining units with the city,” Estrop said.

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“Some bargaining units (that represents city employees) had gone several years with no increases. Salaries were becoming less competitive. We needed to play catch up,” he added.

Mark Beckdahl, the finance director for the city of Springfield, said the city has continued to see an increase in money going into its general fund, mainly due to a bump in revenue from income taxes.

He said income taxes make up roughly 79% of general fund revenues and the increase is due to an improving local economy as well as the passing of an income tax levy, which was implemented in 2017.

Currently the city expects general fund revenues for 2019 to be $46.4 million, with $36.4 million coming from income taxes. Expenditures for this year are expected to be $47.4 million.

But Beckdahl said those expenditures will likely be lower come the end of the month and the city may enter next year with a slight budget surplus.

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Beckdahl said for next year, the city plans on spending at least $2 million on neighborhood streets, not including Broadway, as well as replacing aging city equipment.

The city plans on purchasing eight police cruisers, a new fire engine, a prisoner transport van, a parking control vehicle and two dump trucks that will be equipped with snow plows.

Beckdahl said the budget approved on Thursday includes salaries for 131 sworn-in police officers and 127 fire personnel. He said the city expects 57% of its general fund expenditures to be related to public safety, accounting for $28.5 million.

The city’s court system is expected to spend $5.5 million dollars next year.

Next year’s budget places the cost of personnel services, including salaries and benefits for employees that fall under the general fund, to be $33 million.

Those figures are based on the city having 585 employees next year, that is based on the city reaching full employment.

By the numbers:

$47.5 million: Springfield’s projected revenue in 2020.

$50 million: Springfield’s projected expenditures in 2020.

$37.5 million: Amount of income tax the city is expected to collect in 2020.

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