After careful review, the Town Manager and staff are pleased to submit the proposed FY2021/2022 Budget to Town Council and our Town of Vinton citizens. This year’s budget represents a balanced budget with an optimistic outlook despite the lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our locality. The proposed FY2021/2022 Budget for the General Fund totals $8,032,258, which represents an increase of 12.05% or $863,708. The proposed FY2021/2022 Budget for all funds totals $14,179,981. Police, Public Works, Planning and Zoning, Financial Services, Community Services, and Administration will offer high quality services with no planned reductions in the upcoming fiscal year.
The review and adoption of the Annual Operating and Capital Budgets represent some of the most important policy-making responsibilities of the Mayor and Town Council. The budget is more than just the legal document appropriating funds; it establishes priorities among competing governmental services, all of which have dedicated constituencies. The Town Council must also establish service levels based on the priorities and within the fiscal capacity of the Town.
On June 16, 2020, Town Council approved and ratified the Town of Vinton Strategic Plan for 2020-2025. Preparation of this proposed FY2021/2022 Budget was guided by the following three goals established in the Strategic Plan:
- Enhance the Town’s infrastructure and livability
- Maintain an efficient and high-performing government
- Ensure the Town’s continued financial viability by actively pursuing quality economic development
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Town had relatively minor impacts across economy-based revenue sources, a display of the growing economy in the Town. This is a stark contrast from the past. For several years after the Great Recession, the growth of revenue in the Town of Vinton was less than 1.0%, which led to difficulty in keeping up with increased personnel and supply costs. During 2018, after almost a decade of slow growth, the Town began to see consistent growth and was able to prioritize expenditures that had been placed on hold for most of the past decade.
In Fiscal Year 2021, due to uncertainty in the economic conditions and a conservative approach to revenue forecasting, each department was asked to critically evaluate its budget and identify budget reductions while maintaining the core government functions of the respective departments. After mid-year projections were completed, Town Staff recommended to Council to consider several budget related restorations to include unfreezing the Assistant Town Manager, Financial Analyst, and Police Officer positions. Due to each department’s diligent response to reduce spending during the pandemic, the Town also added approximately $700,000 to its unassigned fund balance as of the annual audit.
The Town Manager and Treasurer/Finance Director presented to the Town Council during a budget retreat for options to utilize available fund balance to complete many needed capital improvement projects. This contribution also included setting aside $285,000 in the capital fund for Fiscal Year 2022 projects above anticipated annual funding. The Capital Improvement Program was restored, and the Town was able to provide a 7-year funded plan. The Town Staff has worked closely with the Town Council to develop the proposed expenditure budget plan that accounts for the vision and direction of the previously adopted Town Council Strategic Plan.
Members of the Town staff will be available to assist and support the Town Council during your deliberation on this Budget. We will provide any additional information or data you may need on the objectives and proposals included in this document. Copies of the proposed FY2021/2022 Budget are available in the Town Manager’s Office, as well as the Treasurer’s Office and on the Town’s web site at www.vintonva.gov.
If you have any questions, please contact the Town Manager’s Office at 540-983-0607.