By Staff Reports
Martinsville City Manager Leon Towarnicki presented the proposed $34,308,365 FY22 general fund budget on May 11.
“We are pulling the general fund balance down below the 10 percent, but year in and year out, we expect between $1 to $1.5 million to be returned back to fund balance,” Towarnicki said.
The city had an unassigned fund balance of $4.9 million based on an audit of the end fiscal 2020.
To maintain the 10 percent reserve requirement, the balance would have to be at least $3,430,837 for reserves. This leaves $1,507,902, which can be transferred to balance the budget while maintaining the required reserve. Along with reserves from utilities, this amounted to approximately $5 million which could be transferred to balance the budget.
Towarnicki said there are no recommended transfers from electric or sewer funds.
Staff did recommend transfers to the general fund from water utilities at the amount of $1.445 million. Another transfer of $696,688 will come from refuse. The budget balances with a proposed transfer of $200,827 from telecommunications and $2.9 million from the fund balance.
The city expects to have $29,065,850 in revenues before transfers for fiscal year 2022, compared to $28,840,888 in the current year, which is a 0.78 percent increase in revenues.
Towarnicki said this includes $90,000 in additional real estate taxes at a rate of $1.0621 per $100 of assessed value.
A public hearing is set for May 25 to approve the adjustment to the rate. To keep the rate, the city council must have a public hearing. It also has the option to keep a lower rate of $1.0502/$100 which does not require a hearing. Towarnicki said that by state law, the city must adopt the lower rate if a hearing is not held.
The proposed budget did not include any recommended utility rate hikes.
The net school funding is $6,219,545, which includes a level funding amount of $6,045,015 from local contributions and an e-rate contribution of $99,624.
Level funding was proposed for most outside agencies, except for increases for the Martinsville-Henry County 911 Center and the Henry-Martinsville Department of Social Services. A reduction was proposed in funding to the Henry/Martinsville Health Department.
Towarnicki said city departments requested approximately $3.9 million for capital requests. Of that, nearly $2.2 million was designated for utilities and another $1.76 million for the general fund and capital reserve.
Funding for the capital reserve is $884,694, Towarnicki said of the remaining amount of the meals tax fund when school debt is paid. An additional $361,352 is set aside for debt service, leaving $523,342 for capital purchases to include vehicles for the police department and the sheriff’s office, as well as equipment for public works and the fire department.
Towarnicki said the $523,342 is about 29 percent of what was requested.
Final estimates for some budget items could be affected by federal legislation and reversion.
In other matters, city council:
*Recognized Martinsville Middle School student Marjorie Davis as Virginia Municipal League’s Region 2 winner of the 2021 “If I Were Mayor” essay contest.
*Heard an update from Greg Suire, president of the Martinsville Mustangs, about the upcoming baseball season. The season will begin Thursday, May 27. Suire said he expects the season to be 34-35 games depending on the limitations placed on teams which will play in the Coastal Plain League playoffs. The field will still operate at the 1,000-capacity limit in place due to the pandemic.
*Appointed Martinsville Sheriff Steve Draper to the Dan River Alcohol Safety Action Program Policy Board for a three-year term ending April 30, 2023.