Tweaking of Rochester’s proposed $387.6 million budget for 2020 could start Monday.
With a $79.5 million cap on the city’s property tax levy, the Rochester City Council has approximately $500,000 in wiggle room without cutting some spending or finding new revenue.
The council will consider a variety of potential adjustments during its 3:30 p.m. meeting Monday in council chambers of the city-county Government Center.
Among potential changes will be nearly $2.2 million in combined spending that has been discussed but not included in the recommended budget.
Among the items expected to be discussed is taking $1.5 million from an existing bituminous project fund to start repaying $3.7 million in overspent funds related to a variety of street, bridge, and traffic signal projects.
Other potential projects, which could be funded by the tax levy, include $50,000 for signs that would be required if the City Council decides to reduce speed limits throughout the city and $225,000 to address gaps in sidewalk and trail connections.
The council could also consider adjusting funding for a variety of community organizations, including Rochesterfest, Rochester Civic Theatre, Rochester Art Center and Greater Rochester Advocates for Universities and Colleges.
In addition to looking at costs related to a variety of projects, the council is also expected to consider adding revenue opportunities to next year’s budget, which could include the creation of a natural gas franchise fee and fees to address community lighting and sidewalk improvements.
A variety of changes that could alter next year’s budget, including increasing fees to fund new fire marshal staff and police officers, are also expected to be discussed at the council’s Nov. 4 work session, when budget discussions will continue.
“From there, the finance team will make any necessary revisions to the preliminary budget
in preparation for consideration of adoption in December,” states a memo to the council.
The city’s final budget for 2020 is expected to be approved on Dec. 2, following a public hearing.