FOLEY - The City of Foley has approved its 2020-21 fiscal year budget. As the end of the 2019-20 budget draws near, city officials report that while underbudget, the city has weathered the …
FOLEY - The City of Foley has approved its 2020-21 fiscal year budget. As the end of the 2019-20 budget draws near, city officials report that while underbudget, the city has weathered the storm.
“Even though we’ve gone through this year with COVID-19 and the closure of a lot of our businesses for weeks during the springtime, it looks like if you combine these four taxes [sales, gas, lodging, and rental] and compare 2020 to 2019, we’re going to be just about flat, maybe slightly above,” said City Administrator Mike Thompson. “Now, we’re not going to hit our budget, but when we started analyzing these numbers at the start of the pandemic we were predicting to be about $4.7 million, $5 million down in these particular items, and we’re probably going to be about $1.4 million down from our budget. We’ve done substantially better than what we anticipated when the virus started.”
Heading into the 2020-21 fiscal year budget, Thompson believes the staff has developed a conservative budget. General Fund revenue is budgeted at $47,428,892. Transfers from other funds of $2,842,200 bring the total to $50,271,090, approximately $2 million less than fiscal year 2020.
“We did that on purpose because quite frankly we don’t know what to expect from the pandemic, whether it’s going to come back strong this winter or not,” said Thompson. “We wanted to have a conservative budget and I believe that we have that.”
Thompson said that due to COVID-19 and now the recovery efforts from Hurricane Sally, he thinks the budget will change over time.
The new budget will allow growth within the city workforce, with eight new positions budgeted for next year. The budget anticipates an investment of just under $2 million worth of capital equipment. Capital projects total approximately $6.2 million of the city’s funds. Capital projects for next fiscal year include Juniper Road extension, completion of County Road 12 and Foley Beach Express safety improvements, a new block of pedestrian greenway downtown, the renovation of the fountain and adjacent hardscape and landscape west of the Centennial tower and plaza, pedestrian paths connecting Mathis Elementary and Foley High School to surrounding subdivisions, land acquisition and improvements to expand Graham Creek Nature Preserve, one million dollars in annual repaving work, access management project on Miflin Road between Highway 59 and Juniper, additional intersection improvements on the Foley Beach Express corridor, beginning a two-year project to construct a regional detention and storm water management facility for the Bon Secour watershed, and extension of Pecan Street from Lay Lane to Pride Drive. Grants and other contributions will be used along with budgeted city funds to pay for capital projects.
“Even though we have a conservative budget from a revenue perspective, I feel like it’s situated so that we can meet the majority of our desires in terms of capital projects,” Thompson said. “All in all I feel really good about the budget, I feel confident we will meet or beat it for the next fiscal year.”
A full copy of the budget can be found at cityoffoley.org.