The Bowling Green City Commission is slated to vote Tuesday on a $124 million 2019-20 budget that holds the line on tax rates and is down nearly $3 million from the budget adopted for the 2018-19 fiscal year.
The budget includes a 1.9 percent pay increase for full-time personnel, hiring more police and fire department staff and a decrease of nearly $4 million in the capital improvement budget from the previous budget.
The proposed budget extends a 16-year streak of no increases in occupational or property tax rates and shows a continuing decline in debt. City budget materials show the city’s outstanding debt has fallen from $148.2 million in 2009 to an estimated $73.2 million at the end of the current fiscal year.
The proposed budget includes funding to add five police officers and three firefighters, while the amount allocated for capital improvements drops from $29.6 million in the current fiscal year to a projected $25.8 million.
Included in the capital improvements budget are $1.2 million for continued work on the Shive Lane widening and roundabout, $600,000 for new sidewalk construction, $425,000 in parks improvements, $500,000 for Smallhouse Road intersection improvements, $500,000 for continuing downtown renovations and a total of $4.8 million for facilities and equipment.
The budget forecasts a drop in occupational fees, the city’s main revenue source, from last year’s $53.3 million to $50.1 million.
“We didn’t want to be too aggressive with our projections of occupational taxes,” City Manager Jeff Meisel said at the May 21 city commission meeting. “We had a record year in 2017, then 2018 was a decent year and 2019 was a little better. We expect this year to be about the same as 2018.”
Also on Tuesday’s agenda are:
- authorizing a $1.2 million grant application to the Kentucky 911 Services Board to be used for 911 system upgrades.
- authorizing a $256,230 grant application to the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security for a multipurpose response and rescue vehicle to be used by the police department.
- approving two land annexations: 26.94 acres on Old Scottsville Road owned by the Club at Olde Stone and 2.9 acres on Cumberland Trace Road owned by the Warren County school board.
- a $396,417 bid from Net Connection LLC of Trussville, Ala., for netting to be used for a driving range the city is constructing at the Golf Course at Riverview.
– Follow News Director Wes Swietek on Twitter @BGDNgovtbeat or visit bgdailynews.com.