The Town of Paradise Valley has taken the final step to set its fiscal year 2020-21 budget of $64.2 million in stone.
The Paradise Valley Town Council approved the final budget adoption on June 11, with an unanimous vote. A public hearing was held prior to the council’s vote, but no members of the public provided comment.
Chief Financial Officer Douglas Allen, along with the Town Council and municipal department heads have been working on the budget in recent months. Mr. Allen has presented the budget to the council on several occasions this fall.
Earlier this month, the council approved the tentative budget.
“The budget is set to pay the contractual obligations, [Capital Improvement Program], maintains services of the town and allows for much flexibility to be adaptable and still poised to transition in the event that economic divisions allow as such,” Mr. Allen said, pointing to tax revenue changes due to COVID-19.
“But with, the revenues will be closely monitored by staff and council in the event if we do need to revisit this budget and look at possible reductions.”
The total budget is $64.2 million, but about 34% of the budget --- or $21.7 million --- is contingency funds.
“This is because we’re waiting to see how revenues perform during the fiscal year, so we have a revenue contingency of $15.2 million,” Mr. Allen said.
There’s a priority system set in place, prioritizing the most-needed town expenditures. As revenue returns after the coronavirus pandemic, funds will be funneled into the lower priority needs.
The total budget is about 6% less than last year’s budget, Mr. Allen said.
The fiscal year begins on July 1.
Town Council members all expressed their gratitude to Mr. Allen for his work on the budget this spring.
Councilwoman Ellen Andeen said she feels comfortable with the budget, and applauded having a flexible budget.
“We can remain flexible and work toward a healthy and great year, even though we’re experiencing such a decline in revenue, and so on and so forth,” Ms. Andeen said.
“I just want to commend Mr. Allen and the department heads for thinking outside the box and presenting options and priorities and it was all well planned out. I feel very comfortable with where we’re at.”
Councilman Mark Stanton called Mr. Allen’s work “outstanding” during these stressful times.
“I have to say, you did it all with grace and with a smile on your face, and a lot of time and effort, I want to say how much I appreciate that,” Mr. Stanton said.
Councilman Scott Moore thanked Mayor Jerry Bien-Willner for the work he did on a stress test that was utilized earlier this year.
“I just want to give you, mayor, a big shout out for all the work you’ve done on the stress test and working through --- in case we were to run into any financial hardships, and here we go, we did,” Mr. Moore said.
“All of a staff that has put in the effort, and with limited resources, working through this budget, working through every day.”
Councilwoman Anna Thomasson echoed the sentiments of her colleagues.
“Many of our residents think about Paradise Valley as a place of peace and beauty and safety. When we have a very solid financial situation and we weather the very kind of storm that we have, that brings people peace because it’s one less thing that they have to worry about,” Ms. Thomasson said.