Editor’s Note: The new City of Yukon budget was approved by a 4-1 vote at the June 1st Yukon City Council meeting. See related story in an upcoming edition of The Yukon Progress.
By Conrad Dudderar
With concerns that Yukon faces a lean fiscal year, conservative city leaders have proposed a “flat” budget.
Step raises for City of Yukon employees are included in the proposed fiscal year 2020-21 budget. But no cost-of-living increase.
No positions were eliminated yet no new personnel are planned in the newly proposed budget.
“We will still have the same programs, same police and fire protection,” Yukon Mayor Shelli Selby said. “The main thing we changed in our budget was cutting out the fat. We are being more money conscious.”
Council members are in the process of finalizing Yukon’s FY21-22 budget, which must be formally approved in June. The new budget takes effect July 1.
Among the city council’s “wish list” items that will be done during the upcoming fiscal year are repairing and restriping city streets and upgrading traffic signals along Garth Brooks Boulevard.
A proposed sports park/recreation complex and dog park (in the middle of Yukon) will not be funded through this new budget.
However, Yukon city officials will consider general obligation bonds to fund infrastructure improvements and other quality-of-life projects.
They will solicit input from Yukon residents on how funds would be spent if a bond proposition passes.
“We want to know what the people want next for Yukon, whether it be roads, water, library, or multi-park recreation center,” Mayor Selby said. “It is an exciting time to live in Yukon.”
The City of Yukon’s general fund budget for FY21-22 totals $27,589,154, with 85.5% of expenses for personnel services. The rest covers materials, supplies, services, charges, and debt service.
The three largest departments are Police ($7,746,163), Fire ($5,609,981) and Parks and Recreation ($2,003,721).
Other large departments include Technology ($1,398,015), Insurance ($1,318,586), Development Services ($1,284,023), Property Management ($1,228,519), and Street ($1,068,015).
Yukon’s five elected council members started working on the annual budget in February, meeting regularly with city administrators.
“The department directors were told to have a flat budget,” Selby explained. “They were also told that there will not be any out-of-state travel for conferences or training. We also cut requests for additional employees.”
When comparing Yukon’s FY20-21 budget to the proposed FY21-22 budget, there are no significant changes in the number of employees for each department.
Here is a breakdown of “regular employees” by department, as proposed in the annual budget for the largest City of Yukon departments:
Police (67 full-time), Fire (45 full-time), Parks and Recreation (17 full-time and 93 part-time), Sanitation (14 full-time and seven part-time), Street (12 full-time and six part-time), Development Services (12 full-time), Water Distribution (nine full-time), and Library (seven full-time and five part-time).
While reiterating the proposed FY21-22 budget is lean, Yukon’s mayor hopes sales tax collections trend upward in coming months.
“If we see our tax revenue rebounding, we will gladly make amendments to the budget,” Selby said. “I am very proud of our City of Yukon management and the workers for making us have a balanced budget.
“Our City of Yukon employees see the ‘big picture’ and work so very hard to make sure every tax dollar is used wisely and efficiently.”
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
The City of Yukon’s proposed FY21-22 general fund budget shows $27,589,154 in estimated revenues.
The total city budget – including all projected revenues – amounts to $56,991,372.
This includes the capital improvement program sales tax fund ($8,073,363), hotel and motel tax fund ($378,675), water/sewer enterprise fund ($9,429,104), sanitation enterprise fund ($2,347,634), grant fund ($755,813), public employees sales tax fund ($4,484,161), reserve support fund ($2 million), and several other smaller funds.
The city council budgeted $25,722,213 in general fund revenues for FY20-21 and projected revenues are $29,459,777. The City of Yukon’s actual FY19-20 revenues were $26,402,898.
The proposed FY21-22 budget estimates $11,956,969 in sales tax income and $1,988,936 in use tax revenues.
Both figures are slightly above Yukon’s projected FY20-21 sales tax ($11,690,068) and use tax ($1,969,244) revenues.
Sales tax and use tax are the largest revenue generators for the City of Yukon’s general fund.
Among other large revenue sources are the public employees sales tax fund, water/sewer enterprise, sanitation fund, court fees, electrical franchise fees, cable TV franchise fees, natural gas franchise fees, hotel/motel taxes, tobacco taxes, commercial vehicle taxes, alcoholic beverage taxes, telephone franchise fees, and building permits.