SIERRA VISTA — A detailed look at the proposed fiscal year 2022 budget was presented to the Sierra Vista City Council last week, and it includes some pricey road and public bathroom revamps.
The proposed budget for the coming fiscal year is $44,178, 127, city documents show. That’s about $3.7 million more than the adopted fiscal year 2021 budget of $40,443,841.
"These figures reflect only General Fund revenue," city spokesman Adam Curtis said in an email to the Herald/Review. "As noted in the April 20 presentation, the General Fund is the largest City fund and comprises about 45% of the total City budget. It does not include many special revenue funds or the City’s enterprise funds."
"No tentative budget total has been presented to council at this point," Curtis added. "The council is scheduled to receive the tentative budget books on May 28. Then they will have individual meetings on the budget as needed before a series of budget work sessions on June 14-16. The Tentative budget vote is set for June 24. This caps the budget, but changes under that cap can still be made until the final budget vote on July 22."
At the May 11 work session, Assistant City Manager Victoria Yarbrough did a summary run through the main capital improvement projects the city is facing, as well as some the General Fund revenue highlights. The latter included increases in revenues for the city’s transaction privilege tax and vehicle license tax of $617,584 and $225,000 respectively.
While the city also kept its revenue projections at 4% over last year, Yarbrough informed the council it’s actually more like 15%.
“But we kept our projections very conservative because it’s anybody’s guess how next year is going to go if there’s federal stimulus packages, etc., so we kept it conservative,” she said.
Not surprising, the city has some large capital improvements ahead.
One of those is the overhaul of a section of Charleston Road from State Route 90 to Colombo Avenue at $932,000. Public Works Director Sharon Flissar explained to the council the cost of a project like this is usually generated by engineers based on the knowledge of “pavement maintenance strategy.”
Flissar said the section that’s being rebuilt is in “rough shape.”
Another endeavor will be improvements needed at the public bathrooms at the city’s sports complex. That will set the city back $800,000.
Mayor Rick Mueller explained the cost is not just for “putting in a bathroom.” A water system has to be installed underground, the mayor said.
“It’s putting in underground infrastructure, that’s why the number is so high,” he said.
Another expenditure will include $30,000 for a new roof at the city’s Pavilion. While the Pavilion is “not that old,” Yarbrough said, the construction of it faced challenges.
“Unfortunately, there were issues with the contractor when it was constructed,” Yarbrough told the City Council. “And not to bring up old dirt, but we had to break the relationship with the contractor. The construction was not top notch.”
“The new roof should hold up 15 to 20 years,” she added.
Other expenditures listed in the budget presented on Tuesday include $20,000 for a Stryker ambulance gurney for the fire department, $140,000 for roof replacements at fire stations one and two, $150,000 for flooring replacement at the police department and $1.5 million for 21 new police cars. The latter is a carryover from last year’s budget.
Yarbrough however, told the City Council that Sierra Vista was in line to receive some extra money from the U.S. Treasury via the American Rescue Fund. The amount, $6.2 million, will be distributed in two payments over the next two years. But the federal government dictates how the money can be used, said Yarbrough and Mueller.
The city will have other budget issues in the way of additional personnel market shifts, the parks master plan, street maintenance projects and public safety retirements, Yarbrough explained.
More budget-related hearings are scheduled and the City Council is expected to have a tentative vote on the budget on June 24 and a final vote on July 22.
Editor's note: A previous version of this story erroneously reported the General Fund Revenue as the budget total.