Westfield council approves 2015 budget, up 8 percent from 2014

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Burtron

Burtron

Things are going up in Westfield. Deputy Mayor Todd Burtron said the 2014 approved budget was $30,756,170. The 2015 advertised budget is $32,879,110 – a change of $2,122,940 or 7 percent increase. Burtron also said the city’s assessed value increased $300,000 this year.

“A vast majority of the $32 million goes to protect the community in the funds of police and fire,” he said, adding like 2014’s budget, 2015 will have 57 percent of the general fund spent on public safety.

Burtron said the city has 198 employees. Some of the changes in personnel include having the public works and parks department maintenance merge into one labor force.

“We try to maximize and become more efficient with our people and processes,” he said.

According to the Dept. of Local Government Finance, Westfield ranks third in Hamilton County on total debt per capita at $2,133.24. Arcadia ($1,116.56) and Cicero (805.27) were the only towns better situated. In comparison, Noblesville is three times Westfield’s amount and Carmel is almost $10,000 more.

“The city’s tax rate has remained near 80 cents per $100 of assessed value with a fluctuation of 76 cents to 84 cents to what is now 80 cents,” said Burtron. “The city has a current operating cash balance of nearly $5 million and a Rainy Day Fund balance of $1 million.”

How the 2015 advertised budget breaks down:

Revenues

Property taxes which include $4 million of uncollectable funds from circuit breakers and tax caps (45 percent) – $14.8 million

County Option Income Tax (28 percent) – $9.1 million

Miscellaneous revenue (27 percent) – $8.7 million

*Revenue from food and beverage, building permits, excise taxes, cigarette tax, motor vehicle highway, local road and street, ambulance fee, etc.

Estimated total – $32.6 million (an 8 percent increase from 2014)

Operational expense assumptions

Public safety – $419,235 increase from 2014. Burtron said $121,685 is for radio equipment for first responders and dispatch services for police and fire will likely see a $297,550 increase.

Parks – 31 percent increase in landscaping contract

PERF – 5 percent increase

Electricity/gasoline – 8 percent increase

Property and casualty insurance – 5 percent increase

Public Safety Building debt service – Refinanced for a savings of $45,100 in 2014.


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