Norwalk considers $151 million budget for FY 2019/20

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NORWALK - Norwalk’s 2019/20 fiscal year budget talks are officially underway after City Council spent just over an hour taking their first look at the upcoming budget on Tuesday.

Overall, the proposed budget comes out to $151,587,172, split up between $53,736,154 and $97,851,018 in General Fund and Restricted funds, respectively.

According to staff, the proposed plan reflected the council’s priorities of public safety, economic development, infrastructure and fiscal sustainability, while maintaining the same level of service.

There were also minimal changes to staffing levels city-wide, reflected in the addition of two full-time positions added related to organizational changes in social services, and the addition of a net 10,932 part-time hours added mostly under Social Services.

Initial department requests resulted in a budgetary shortfall of $4.8 million, including $1.3 million in additional personnel requests.

There were also several revenue assumptions staff accounted for in their report, including 15 percent in trash hauler franchise fees, an estimated 4 percent growth in property taxes, 1 percent growth in in a levelling off sales tax rate, and declining utility user tax.

Staff was able to balance proposed preliminary budget, including an operating surplus of $26 thousand, use of $2.1 million in general funding, and a general fund balance $637 thousand over the fund balance policy.

It is the council’s goal to adopt the budget by June 18, with meetings currently scheduled for May 28, June 18, with a meeting on June 25 if needed.