The Town of Oro Valley was recognized for its fourth consecutive annual budget award from the Government Finance Officer’s Association for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.
The award came before Interim Town Manager Greg Caton introduced the tentative 2012-2013 fiscal-year budget as an informational piece to the Town Council on April 4.
“This award is the highest form of recognition in governmental budgeting and represents a significant achievement by the Town of Oro Valley,” said Mayor Satish Hiremath.
Caton commended the hard work of the town’s departments in helping develop the upcoming year’s $97.9 million balanced budget.
As a result, Caton recommended to council a 2.5 percent cost-of-living adjustment for staff’s salaries for the upcoming fiscal year, amounting to $430,000 annually.
“Our employees are one of our most important assets,” said Caton. “They really are what set us above and beyond other communities.”
Caton said there has not been a cost of living adjustment for town employees since fiscal year 2008-2009. Caton added that by continuing to not fill vacated staff positions, the town would save $600,000 in the upcoming year.
The item will be one of many to be considered by council when the budget is up for final adoption on May 16.
Another will be the implementation of staff’s proposed self-funded healthcare for the upcoming fiscal year. The transition would mean the town provides the 300 town employees healthcare benefits from its own funds, something Caton said could save the town money in the long run.
“Not only would this maintain the solid plan we provide employees, but it would really maintain the cost,” he said. “We estimate if we are able to keep claims down over the coming years, we could save in the neighborhood of $200,000 to $300,000 annually.”
An April 11 study session will provide more information on self-funded insurance.
Caton said the town would continue to aggressively pursue annexations and plans to hire two additional personnel for the economic division. Despite the ongoing debate over the economic usefulness of TREO and MTCVB, the 2012-2013 budget incorporates the continued use of each, at $41,000 and $75,000 respectively.
Caton highlighted some recreational/tourist elements included in the budget, such as additions to the aquatics center and restroom facilities at Steam Pump Ranch.
Town finance manager Stacy Lemos broke down the $97.9 million budget into more detail for the council. In the breakdown, personnel makes up 25 percent of the total, Operations and Maintenance is 17 percent, Capital Budget is at 16 percent, Debt Services will come to about six percent and the contingency reserve is at 36 percent.
A full copy of the proposed 2012-2013 budget, about 310 pages in length, is available on the Town’s website at www.orovalleyaz.gov.
April 11 and April 25 are the next budget study sessions, with the tentative adoption scheduled for May 2, and final adoption scheduled for May 16.
Total budget: $97.9 million
Proposed pay increase: 2.5%, or $430,000.
Council study sessions: April 11, April 25 at 6 p.m., at the Oro Valley Town Hall.
Approval dates: Tentative
Adoption is set for May 2, and final approval is set for May 16.