2018 Noblesville Civil City budget introduced to common council

The Noblesville 2018 Civil City budget was introduced to the Common Council at its Oct. 10 meeting. The budget will be eligible for adoption at the next council meeting on Oct. 24. The 2018 proposed Civil City budget totals $65,170,297, with a general fund budget of $40,904,122.

“With our new controller, he took a hard look at the budget and how the accounting system is structured to try to ensure the way financial information is tracked and reported helps policy makers and citizens easily understand how the city is actually using its resources and allocating funding to priorities,” Mayor John Ditslear said.

A guiding theme for Controller Jeff Spalding and his office was to “right size and realign” the overall structure of Civil City budget to best use taxpayer dollars wisely and allocate finances logically and clearly.

“By right size and realigning, you can look at the budget and it can tell a story of what’s going on in the city,” said Spalding. “Typically, a budget getting smaller is considered ‘good’ and a larger budget is viewed as ‘bad.’ But that is not appropriate in all cases. Noblesville is a growing community, the point is to do things well and do things better. We still want to be cost-efficient, but doing a job well costs less than doing a job cheaply.”

The Noblesville Civil City budget does increase but is not growing faster than its revenue. The proposed 2018 budget is balanced and builds reserves by approximately $4 million.

“Using round numbers, the 2017 budget was $70 million with $13 million in contingency reserves. The 2018 proposed budget is $65 million with $5 million in contingency reserves,” said Spalding. “Removing the reserves in each budget, the proposed budget is $60 million versus a $57 million 2017 adopted budget – a $3 million increase which accounts for the general pay adjustment and additional positions.”

Several recommendations with the 2018 Civil City budget include:

  • The budget allows the hiring of 11 new full-time positions and converting two part-time positions into full time. The positions include fire department (four), controller’s office (two), street (two), parks (two), clerk’s office (one), maintenance (one) and engineering (four).The estimated costs with benefits for the positions is $970,000.
  • Full-time city employees will receive a five percent raise and part-time positions will receive a two percent increase. Due to a planned change to employer/employee split for health insurance premiums, the net effective take-home pay increase for full-time employees will be two to three percent. As part-time employees are not eligible for most employer-paid benefits, they are not subject to the change in cost-sharing for health insurance premiums.
  • Public safety is the number one priority in our community. In 2018, public safety accounts for 65 percent of the general fund budget and 45 percent of the overall Civil City budget.
  • The budget includes $2.6 million for road resurfacing and sidewalk/trail improvements.

More information on the proposed budget is available at http://bit.ly/2zjKCFM.