At a Commission Work Session, Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert presented the Proposed Fiscal Year 2020 Budget, which will cover July 1, 2019 through June 30. To see the Proposed FY20 Budget, watch the presentation, and see the schedule of Budget Hearings, click the links below. The presentation was broadcast on the Macon-Bibb County Facebook page and can be watched here.
Mayor Reichert took time during the presentation to recognize the departments and people working in the consolidated government, pointing out that, since consolidation, they have earned our community dozens of local, state, and national recognitions. They also work throughout the year to stay trained on current topics, and they have been invited to present to local governments across the country on best practices, using Macon-Bibb as their example.
“We have asked our employees to do more with less each year, and it is their dedication and hard work that we have allowed us to reduce the size government and still bring us such success,” said Mayor Reichert. “We need to hold the line on expenses this year so that we can find ways to recognize and reward them, while still providing services to the community.”
This year’s budget was built with no millage rate increase, and revenue numbers were budgeted at 99% of projections, as was done this past year. Highlights from the past year and moving forward are that property values are increasing (meaning a rollback of the millage could be required), an increase in sales tax, and an increase in other fees and revenue streams. The fund balance is also expected to increase at the end of this fiscal year, from approximately $5 million to $11 million.
Of the $164.5 million budget, almost $106 million is for salaries and benefits, and a majority of the total budget will be spent on Public Safety and the Courts. Even with most of the budget going toward salaries and benefits, the total number of employees is fewer than when the consolidated government was created in January 2014, from 2,095 to 1,807.
From here, the Operations & Finance Committee will hold a series of Budget Hearings to review the Proposed FY20 Budget in greater detail. The full schedule is listed below.
“Our Committee is looking forward to discussing in more detail the different aspects of the proposed budget,” says Operations & Finance Chair Commissioner Virgil Watkins, pointing out one area he wants to explore specifically is how to provide additional compensation for the employees who have been asked to do more with less.