Higher-than-expected sales tax revenues puts City in strong financial condition
Round Rock City Council Members passed an amendment at their regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, May 27, adding almost $5.4 million to the current fiscal year’s budget.
The City is coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic in strong financial condition, Chief Financial Officer Susan Morgan said. The budget amendment is the result of much higher-than-expected sales tax revenues, which will allow the City to restore $871,000 in ongoing operating costs for select departments in the City’s General Fund. The remaining $5.3 million will be transferred to the City’s General Self Finance Fund to cover one-time projects, such as reconstruction of the Kinningham House, and one-time replacement of software and equipment for various departments.
All departments receiving additional funding made significant budget reductions for FY 2021 as the City was facing uncertain long-term revenue losses and service curtailments due to COVID-19-related restrictions at the time the FY 2021 budget was adopted. The lifting of most COVID-19 restrictions and the strong local economy has increased demands not currently allowed in the adopted budget.
The following increases were made for the remainder of the fiscal year:
Departmental Budget Restorations
Library budget restorations: These restorations would bring the Library’s budget back up to its FY 2019 level, when all programming and services were offered. The Library is expecting to return to full operations and hours starting this summer and for the rest of the fiscal year.
Parks and Recreation restorations: These restorations would bring PARD’s budget back up to its FY 2019 level, when all programming and services were offered.
Police restorations: These restorations would bring the Police Department’s budget back up to its FY 2019 level.
Transportation restorations: These restorations would bring Transportation’s budget back up to its FY 2019 level and accommodate pricing increases.
Library Bookmobile Program
This portion of the amendment adds a Program Coordinator (1.0 FTE) and Bookmobile Operations to the Library budget. The total amendment for FY 2020-21 totals $40,000. This position will provide delivery of Library services to citizens not able to access the Library facilities.
General Self Finance Construction (GSFC) Funds
When the FY 2020-21 budget was adopted, the City delayed committing GSFC funds for several needed projects to preserve a strong cash position during the uncertainty of the pandemic. The COVID-19 restrictions have receded, and the local economy has rebounded. The budget amendment transferred $5,300,000 in FY 2019 General Fund excess revenues into the GSFC, with $3,572,000 allocated and a remaining balance of $1,728,000 for future projects.
- Restore Facility Maintenance and IT Replacement Funds. These funds were reduced from $750,000 to $500,000 each. This amendment restores those funds to their original target amounts.
- The Kinningham House replacement has been on Council’s strategic planning list for several years. This $2 million will allow a reconstruction of that facility and improve PARD programming options.
- PARD Holiday Decorations. The $100,000 allocated will fund a much-needed downtown Christmas Tree replacement and new Light Up the Lake Ornaments will enhance the successful event held in December 2020.
- Planning and Development Services Software Replacement. The current Trakit software no longer meets department needs. PD&S and IT will be bringing a new option to Council soon to begin that replacement process.
- Automated External Defibrillators in Fire Services. These units were overdue for replacement. Council approved the purchase at its May 13, 2021 regular meeting.