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Live Blogging – Budget 2018 Worksession – Day 1

2:34pm: we’re done with today’s session. We’ll have our next session on April 22
2:04pm: We’re reintroducing Business Assistance and Façade Improvement Grant program – $60K
1:40 pm: We’re now reviewing Planning and Economic development budget. Total budget: $805,735
1:28pm: City currently provides transportation within an 8 mile radius at the request of City seniors, such as trips to doctors office and grocery stores. This year, we served 1,823 seniors. Next year, we’re planning to serve 3,500
1:15pm: Twice-a-week College Park Seniors Social program is going great! 10 – 12 seniors attending on a regular basis. Programming provided by College Park Arts Exchange and M-NCPPC and on occasion, UMD Clarice Center.
1:00 pm: We’re back with a presentation about the Youth and family services (YFS) department budget. The YFS provides community outreach as well as family counseling to youth and families with the goal of enhancing family functioning and case management for seniors as well as advocacy, emotional support, social engagement opportunities and limited transportation services to support City seniors’ self-determination and autonomy.
12:30 pm: We’re in lunch break. Will be back at 1:00 pm.
12:06 pm: Our speed revenue has gone down by $250K (from $3 million to $2.5 million). It means motorists are slowing down!
11:50 am: We spend $12,150 to train out code enforcement officers. These staff do have a very hard job in keeping our neighborhoods upto code and need to a lot of support and training.
11:40 am: Total public works budget: $496,471
11:30 am: We’re back, with the Public services budget. Public Services is responsible for the enforcement of all laws, ordinances, rules and regulations of the City and, where jurisdiction lies with the City, of Prince George’s County, the State of Maryland and the United States; issuance of licenses and permits, and their enforcement; performing all required inspections; and supervision of City contract police personnel.
11:20 am: Taking another short break!
11:09 am: We’re talking CBE budget. They do a good job in promoting College Park’s environmental stewardship. We’re talking if the beautification part of their budget should be moved to public works who actually does the beautification project. I suggested to notify them if we want to make the change.
10:58 am: Now we’re discussing election board and city committees budget. The election budget may go down this year, because we’ll (most likely) not be live broadcasting the election results anymore. The election machines make the publication of election results much faster, and thus we’ll be having a very short election night.
10:50 am: Talking about IT budget. Staff worked to pull IT budgets in different divisions and put them into one bucket. This makes perfect sense. Total budget: $718,258
10:27 am: Talking communication department. This Office is responsible for the dissemination of public information and news from the City to residents, visitors, media and other interested parties; promotion and marketing of the City; and overseeing several special
events hosted by the City, such as College Park Day. Budget almost remains the same. $186,271
10:05 am: Now we’re talking Human resources. Their services include recruitment; employment policies and procedures; position classification; wage and salary administration; benefits evaluation and administration; workers’ compensation; employee relations; labor relations; wellness; and the Maryland State Retirement Plan.
9:50 am: We’re coving finance department. Their budget remains almost the same. So you think $98K for credit card payment is too much?
9:37 am: City attorney budget has been proposed to increase by $20K, from $176K to $196. Our attorney is expected to work on more projects next year.
9:16 am: We’re talking about the money we spend on our lobbyist. They lobby City’s interest at MD State assembly. Based on the work they did last year, we’re reducing the fund from $30K to $23K
9:06 am: We’re back. We’ll now talk about general administration
8:58 am: Introduction has just ended. Now we’re taking a short break
8:40 am: Hollywood Gateway park and Hollywood Streetscape project will get a total of $1.1 million
8:38 am: We’ll spend $6.9 million in capital projects
8:35 am: FY 2018 budget will leave $9.65 million reserve fund budget. It’s very healthy number .
8:22 am: Thanks to our staff, who made this year’s budget book a lot slimmer – it has about half of the pages than that of the previous years budget. They removed a lot of repetitive content throughout the budget book. You can read the budget book here:
8:19 am: We will have significant increase in (about $2 million) to do infrastructure projects. We’re also setting aside $250K to improve public safety
8:15 am: We’re adding more staff to public works – mainly to enhance beautification of the city. Also adding staff to engineering and youth / family services
8:12 am: We are not proposing any tax hike this year, despite our tax rate is 3rd lowest in the area!
8:09 am: The total proposed General Fund budget is $19,794,441, an increase of $1,765,106 or 9.8% over the FY 2017 amended budget of $18,029,335. The increase is primarily due to additional revenue, which is used primarily to fund capital projects of almost $1 million and increases in personnel costs of $556,000, attributable to cost of living adjustments and a newly adopted compensation plan to maintain competitiveness, to take effect July 1, 2017.
8:04 am: Today is the first of the two day-long worksessions . The second session will be two weeks from now.
8:00 am: We just started with an introduction from our City manager
7:52 am: In keeping tradition, we start the session with breakfast at 7:30 am. The actual session will start at 8:00 am
7:50 am: I’ll doing live blogging today’s FY2018 budget worksession.
cp-budget-2018

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2 Comments to “Live Blogging – Budget 2018 Worksession – Day 1”

  1. By Donna Thornton, April 8, 2017 @ 8:14 am

    I like that the City office on Knox Rd is open on Saturdays so we can pay tickets, get pet licenses, etc. Please don’t cut that. We need more crosswalks where housing construction has taken place and there is more foot traffic: e.g., Route 1 and Tecumseh.

  2. By Fazlul Kabir, April 8, 2017 @ 8:55 am

    Donna, The City has recently made an announcement on that: http://www.kabircares.org/new-service-hours-at-davis-hall-and-city-hall/ . Do you know that you can also get services at Davis Hall