Provide the summary of FY 2020 General Fund budget Add/Delete proposals.
This memorandum summarizes the FY 2020 budget add/delete items eligible for consideration at the Preliminary Add/Delete work session on Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. in City Council Chamber. On Saturday, April 13, beginning at 9:30 a.m., City Council will hold a public hearing on the add/delete proposals summarized in this memorandum. If any member of the public is unable to attend the public hearing, comments may be submitted online through April 28, 2019. City Council’s eligible add/delete proposals are provided in Attachment 1.
In accordance with Resolution 2858 (adopted on December 11, 2018) on setting guidance for the FY 2020 budget process, a combined list of all City Council budget proposals, technical adjustments from OMB, and City Manager recommended changes is to be provided and discussed at the preliminary add/delete work session. In order to be eligible for consideration, a proposal must:
- Contain information related to how the change advances the Council’s goals/priorities;
- Contain information related to how the change impacts the performance of that program, service, or goal;
- Have received the support of at least three of seven Council members (the original sponsor and two co-sponsors); and
- Be accompanied by an add/delete spreadsheet prepared by the Council member or OMB in which the sum of the individual Council members’ adds and deletes, including the items originally sponsored by that member and those co-sponsored by that member, are in balance or produce a revenue surplus.
The following pages provide a summary of the items eligible for consideration at the preliminary add/delete work session. The language descriptions generally reflect City Council member language.
ACPS Additional Funding: +$100,000 (Budget Work Session #3)
This addition goes toward the city's effort to fully fund ACPS budget. This proposal increases the ACPS FY 2020 operating transfer by $100,000 and the increase is taken from Contingent Reserves.
ACPS Textbook Transfer to Capital: $0 (Budget Question #50)
This proposal decreases the ACPS FY 2020 operating transfer by $708,750, the amount allocated for year one of a seven-year plan for textbook replacement. This decrease is offset by an increase in the ACPS FY 2020 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) to allow no change to the total ACPS budget. Moving this funding from the operating budget to the CIP will create more stability and certainty with the replacement of school textbooks.
C-PACE Year One Startup Cost Contingency: +$125,000 (Budget Question #63)
This operating allocation will create a new contingent reserve dedication to fund the startup costs to create Alexandria's Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (C-PACE), as proposed in the City Manager's Alternative Option List. These funds allow the creation of a program that will leverage private investment and private financing to support clean energy investments in commercial buildings throughout the City. Once staff has prepared a plan for implementation of C-PACE, staff will docket a request for appropriation of some or all of the funds. The approved City Council budget guidance included reference to implementation of the Strategic Plan and approved City plans and programs. Environmental sustainability is core to the City's Strategic Plan and the inspiration for the City's approved Environmental Action Plan.
Early Childhood Capacity Expansion: +$200,000 (Budget Question #18)
This operating addition of $200,000 to the FY 2020 budget will provide resources to reduce wait times to access services in the early childhood programs available within the City. Staff are directed to return to City Council with a recommendation to assign these funds to existing early childhood programs with a priority to those investments that leverage available, external resources. These funds can be used to provide a match for state/federal early childhood resources. The approved City Council budget guidance and related strategic plan support efforts to narrow the achievement gap, including expansions in early childhood education.
Environmental Action Plan (EAP) Public Outreach: +$20,000 (Budget Work Session #5, Budget Question #66)
This proposal funds $20,000 for an EAP recommended expansion of education and outreach to further engage citizens in best practices/behavioral changes that would promote better air quality; more efficient use of energy; climate change stabilization; support for green buildings, environmental land use policies and open space; and awareness of water quality programs. It also supports the City Strategic Plan goals for Environmental Sustainability.
Additional Equity Staff: +$60,000 (Budget Question #33)
This addition will improve the internal & external equity work that the City will be undertaking, and the additional staff will allow for the coverage of a wider range of equity issues, to include racial, sexuality, and gender issues. This addition supports the City government's focus on equity and inclusiveness. Funding for this position would will be held in Contingent Reserves and the position would start after December 2019.
Family Unit Due Process Universal Representation Access Program: +$150,000 (Budget Question #7)
This add/delete proposal would support preserving the family unit in the City and aligns with Council’s inclusivity statement. This program will foster community integration, which will benefit our residents by promoting the family unit and will add contribution to the economy. It will reduce the negative impact of the child and family separation policies. The City can apply for grants that may match the City’s contribution. This proposal is funded as a designation of $150,000 from Contingent Reserves.
Fire Staffing 2019 SAFER Grant (Local Obligation): +$200,000 (Budget Work Session #7)
This proposal utilizes $200,000 of Contingent Reserves to pay for the year one local grant match obligation for the 2019 Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant. On March 12, 2019, City Council approved the submission of the 2019 SAFER Grant application. This grant, if awarded, will fund nine new firefighter positions which will allow for the completion of four-person staffing on the three remaining fire engines. The SAFER grant pays for 75% of the positions in the first year, 75% in the second year, and 35% in the third year. This equates to a $1.5 million three-year grant. The City is responsible for 25% or $0.2 million for each of the first two years. For the following two years, the City’s estimated costs increase to 65% or $0.6 million in the third year and 100% or $0.9 million by the fourth year.
Inova Alexandria Hospital Uncompensated Care Assessment: $0 (Budget Question #19)
This operating deletion removes 50% of the proposed appropriation for Inova Alexandria Hospital ($490,075) under the current Memorandum of Agreement addressing uncompensated care. The proceeds of this deletion will be transferred to Contingent Reserves to allow City staff to perform a full assessment of the impact of the recent expansion of Medicaid eligibility (covering the second half of FY 2019) on the uncompensated care expenditures addressed by the Memorandum. The City Manager shall return to Council when that analysis has been complete with a recommendation for disposition of the remaining funds. The approved City Council budget guidance directs the staff and Council to focus resources on the core services of government and ensure efficient expenditure of taxpayer resources.
King Street Corridor Tree Lighting: +$34,800 (Budget Question #41)
This add/delete proposal allocates $34,800 of Contingent Reserves to extend the King Street Corridor tree lighting season for six additional months, from five months to eleven months per year. This initiative would further support the City’s Distinct and Vibrant Neighborhoods and Strong Economy Strategic Plan goals.
Sheriff Department Pay and Benefits Contingency: +$330,000 (Budget Question #47)
This operating budget addition will add $330,000 to the City Manager's proposed $720,000 contingent designed to fund VRS modifications for existing and future Sheriff's Department personnel.
The new $1.05M contingent reserve dedication would be to implement compensation and benefits improvements impacting personnel in the Sheriff's Department with an effective date of 10/1/2019. Once recommendations have been reviewed by the Public Safety Work Group (PSWG), this allocation will be brought to Council for release. The approved City Council budget guidance included direction to protect core services and ensure realization of the City's approved Strategic Plan. Protection of the City's public safety is a core service of government and is central to the City's approved Strategic Plan. This initiative brings Sheriff's Department compensation and benefits more in alignment with comparators.
SNAP Outreach and Double-up SNAP Dollar Program Expansion: +$86,260 (Budget Question #56)
The Old Town Farmers' Market and the Four Mile Run Market are the only farmers' markets in the City that accept SNAP benefits. Both of those markets also have a program that allows SNAP recipients to double their dollars at the market. This proposed add allows staff to develop a program to: expand both of these features to additional markets in the City, including the West End Farmers' Market; provide support for existing markets; and increase outreach to build awareness of the program at all locations.
The current 0.4 FTE within DCHS that oversees this program does not allow enough time to appropriately manage all grant responsibilities and outreach. This add would also create additional capacity to promote and increase participation in the SNAP program. The Alexandria Childhood Obesity Action Network report on hunger found that many Alexandrians eligible for SNAP are not using it. As a result, Alexandria is leaving on the table thousands of federal dollars in food-related benefits for low-income households each year. Each eligible household that does not apply for SNAP presents a serious loss to these households and the economy.
This add would allow the City to leverage additional dollars from its existing Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant. It would also increase the amount of federal dollars in food-related benefits for eligible Alexandria residents. The approved City Council budget guidance and related Strategic Plan support efforts to ensure that Alexandria is a caring and equitable city that supports thriving children and youth; healthy residents; and provides high-quality social services to eligible residents.
Vehicle Registration Fee Repeal and Vehicle Personal Property Tax Rate Increase: $0 (Budget Question #14)
On March 16, 2019, City Council approved the elimination of the vehicle decal fee however the FY 2020 budget includes a $33 local vehicle registration fee. This add/delete repeals the local vehicle registration fee and thereby reduces the FY 2020 General Fund budget by $3.85 million. To make up for this revenue loss, this proposal also increases the Vehicle Personal Property Tax rate from $5.00 to $5.33, generating the $3.85 million, making this a net zero impact proposal.
WasteSmart Implementation: +$102,846 (Budget Question #13)
This operating allocation will create a new Contingent Reserve dedication to fund WasteSmart implementation as contemplated in the City Manager's Alternative Options list. This proposal is funded through an increase of the annual Residential Refuse Fee to $411. Staff shall return to Council with a plan to allocate these funds to WasteSmart programs, including the new glass drop-off program and other efforts designed to achieve the vision of the approved WasteSmart Strategic Plan. The approved City Council budget guidance included reference to implementation of the Strategic Plan and approved City plans and programs. Environmental sustainability is core to the City's Strategic Plan and the inspiration for the City's approved Environmental Action Plan and the WasteSmart Strategic Plan.
Zoning Inspector Position to Contingency: $0 (Budget Work Session #4)
This operating budget modification removes the appropriation for the proposed Zoning Inspector for enhanced commercial corridor enforcement. The funds for this position are proposed to be placed in Contingent Reserves ($83,595) pending a comprehensive review and report to Council on night/weekend staffing, policies and coordination between the Police Department, Planning Department, Code Administration, Transportation & Environmental Services, Health Department and other impacted departments. The approved City Council guidance urged the funding of efforts that promote and support economic growth and development.
Attachment 1 - City Council Add/Delete Proposals