Fiscal Year 2021 Budget
Well….I didn’t see this one coming, but Spring Hill still does not have a budget for fiscal year 2020-2021.
Monday night’s second and final vote of the fiscal year 2020-2021 budget failed in a 4-4 tie. Aldermen Allen, Gavigan, Nieves and myself voted in favor of the proposed budget. Aldermen Fuqua, Graves and Wurth along with Mayor Graham voted against the budget. Alderman Canepari was unable to attend the meeting, resulting in the tied vote.
So what happens next?
Tennessee Code 6-56-210 requires municipalities to pass a budget for the next fiscal year before the completion of the existing fiscal year (June 30 for Spring Hill) If a City fails to adopt a budget, then the existing budget appropriations automatically carryover. In other words, all funding levels remain in place and any new projects would be postponed (since funding for the new projects did not exist last year).
Some key projects in the 2020-2021 budget include
- NEPA (required environmental work) work for the widening of Buckner Road
- Engineering work for the the widening of Buckner Lane
- Construction money for the new I-65 Interchange
- Architectural design of a new Fire Station 1
- Acceptance of a grant from TDOT to construct Harvey Park Greenway
- Capacity upgrades for the sewer treatment plant
- Capacity upgrades for the water distribution system
If BOMA fails to pass a budget by June 30th, all of these projects would be in jeopardy. If Spring Hill fails to stay on schedule with the I-65 interchange project, the federal grant of $25M could be at risk, which place an enormous additional financial burden on the City.
We better get our act together before June 30th.
The proposed budget is focused on three essential services – Roads, Public Safety and Utility Services.
80% of all available funds are proposed to be spent towards these three essential services.
You can find a shareable summary of the above information by visiting this link .
You can find a copy of the current budget Ordinance and line item detail by visiting this link.
Buckner Lane Improvements
Spring Hill continues to work on the preliminary design of Buckner Lane. The project will move into the engineering phase in the 2020-2021 fiscal year (if we actually pass a budget).
More details are starting to emerge related to the exact location of the widening.
Key design features include:
- Two lanes in either direction along with center turn lanes and decelerations at various intersections along the corridor.
- Medians are proposed as a traffic calming measure and to manage turn movements as well as to improve aesthetics along the corridor.
- A sidewalk and multi-use trail are proposed on either side of the street along with corresponded pedestrian crossings at signaled intersections to enhance walkability and safe pedestrian travel along the corridor.
- Signalization at appropriate intersections.
See a full breakdown of the current design plans by visiting this link .
I’m sure you’ve seen realtors and mortgage brokers advertise record low interest rates, and encourage you to explore refinancing your mortgage.
The same opportunity to reduce borrowing costs exist for the City. Thanks to record low interest rates, the City was able to rescind our issuance of bonds through the Tennessee Municipal Bond Fund and instead issue general obligation bonds at a reduced rate – which translates to significant savings in interest to tax payers.
The City is also refinancing some existing debt related to the water and sewer funds. Savings on these funds is expected to be in the neighborhood of $800,000. Also important, the length of the bonds was not extended during refinancing and the maturity date has remained the same.
The sewer and water refinancing is not complete, as the bond sale still needs to occur, but this should be completed in the upcoming month.
Thank you for reading!
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Thank you for reading!