Noblesville Common Council hears 2020 budget introduction


The Noblesville Common Council heard the 2020 budget introduction at its Oct. 15 meeting. Since it was only an introduction, no vote was taken.

City Controller Jeffrey Spalding gave a brief overview of the $80.7 million budget, $71 million of which was operating funds.

“The overarching themes for the budget process for the last couple budgets is ‘right size and realign’ – trying to get the budget shaped up to where we need to be to start moving into the era of cost efficiency and performance metrics,” Spalding said.

Spalding also spoke on the importance of establishing a base budget. 

“If you have a good base budget, you can use that to highlight where things are changing, where new ideas and new initiatives are being requested,” he said.

A main topic of conversation was that the city’s certified net assessed value has grown 42 percent since 2015, and its local income tax revenue has grown 43.3 percent. 

The 2020 proposed budget is an approximate 3 to 4 percent increase over the 2019 budget, which Spalding said was a reasonable level of growth and expense.

If approved, Spalding estimated the 2020 budget to increase the general fund by approximately $1 million and increase the rainy-day fund by approximately $1.28 million.

The general operating fund makes up approximately 62 percent of the overall $80.7 million budget. Within the general operating fund, fire and police account for a combined 64.6 percent of the cost.

The 2020 proposed budget accounts for several new position requests, including four employees for the fire department, which is in the third year of a three-year phase in to staff an additional ambulance at Station 76. Other new position requests include three staff for the engineering department, two for the police department consisting of one sworn officer and one civilian, a communications director for the mayor, one custodian for maintenance and one part-time secretary for the streets department.

A public hearing was held, and nobody spoke. The council will vote on the proposed budget at its Oct. 29 meeting.

“We look forward to continue working through this process with members of our Common Council, and we’ll come back on Oct. 29 to ensure the budget for 2020 remains fiscally responsible while supporting our growing community,” Deputy Steve Cooke stated after the meeting.

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