On May 7, the City Manager, his staff, and the Director of Schools provided budget presentations to City Council. I have been reviewing their proposals for several weeks. I have uploaded the proposed budget ordinances to my Google Drive. You can review them by clicking the links below:
We will consider the first-reading of the budget at our regularly scheduled council meeting, Tuesday, June 1, which will begin at 6:45pm. (The agenda can be found HERE.) There will be a special-called meeting on June 17, 5:30pm for the second-reading of the budget.
The city is proposing a $218 million budget for Fiscal Year 2022, which runs from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. This budget does not call for an increase in taxes so the current rate of $2.27 would be retained.
I confirmed that all city employees would receive a cost-of-living pay increase under this budget. The City Manager is requesting six new positions in the General Fund. He believes the census will report that the city’s population is over 30,000. He said this growth dictates the need for additional staffing to include: one Civil Engineer, one Police Records Clerk, one Firefighter, one Heavy Equipment Operator and two Traffic Signal Technicians.
Several proposed capital investments are part of a strategic plan that has been in place for many years. This includes repairing a replacing assets – public facilities, parking lots, streets, etc. Key projects in the proposal include the Foothills Mall Rd. extension, East Lamar Alexander Parkway streetscaping and the Laurel Branch connector. There is also a large-scale Wastewater Treatment Plant project budgeted, which was explained to me in detail during my tour of the facility a couple of weeks ago.
The Director of Maryville City Schools (MCS) provided a presentation. Of note, they are not requesting a tax rate increase ($.98) and will be utilizing ESSER funds through 2022. This is COVID stimulus funding: “Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief.” Certified teachers would receive a 3.5% salary increase. To accommodate enrollment growth, they would hire three new teaching positions at Foothills Elementary – K, 1st and 3rd. They would also hire an ASL (American Sign Language) instructor and an Elementary Behavior Specialist. These two positions would serve all three elementary schools.
In terms of capital funding, they have asked for up to $2 million to develop an in-depth facility plan as they anticipate significant student population growth system-wide. Councilman Tommy Hunt recommended that the school system hire a Facilities Manager in the future and I agree. In terms of the master plan, census data will be incredibly important in developing a solid, data-driven master plan.
Questions? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text 865-599-2037.