This FY 2001 Budget Update-In-Brief is designed to help residents of Gaithersburg better understand both the City's budget process and its end product, the City's Approved Budget. The Update-In-Brief is divided into three parts. The first part describes the 12 Strategic Directions associated with various programs and projects developed to measure the City's progress in addressing the needs of the community. The second part explains the structure of the City's budget, the budget process, and some of the terms associated with the budget. The second part also contains the significant features of the budget approved by the Mayor and City Council and some of the factors which affected its development. The third part contains detailed information about the FY 2001 Budget: the Operating Budget, Capital Budget, and the Approved Staffing Plan, as well as departmental organization charts and summary budgets.
The FY 2001 Budget is the City's financial plan for the fiscal year. Because it determines the level of City services and the way in which these services will be funded, the budget is a focal point for public interest. Many key decisions regarding the way the City operates are made through the creation of the budget. Understanding the budget provides insights into the City government.
At a retreat in October of each year, the Mayor and City Council revise the Strategic Directions and establish goals for Gaithersburg's future. The FY 2001 Budget reflects these Strategic Directions and progress made in FY 2000.
12 Strategic Directions
- Ensure that all planning and development considers and responds to the City's environmental, transportation, economic, social and civic needs.
- Implement traffic and transportation management strategies to improve the safety, structure and function of streets, transit, bikeways and sidewalks within the City.
- Actively pursue Olde Towne Blueprint.
- Maintain and enhance priority City services.
- Pursue programs that preserve and improve current and future housing stock and mix (e.g., aging apartments).
- Maintain support of neighborhood Community Policing programs.
- Implement programs to enhance delivery of services that address the needs of the City's culturally diverse population.
- Implement the Master Plan for parks, recreation, cultural and leisure activities.
- Implement recommendations from ongoing evaluations of natural resources and encourage protection and enhancement of the environment (streams, parks, stormwater management, and other CIP projects).
- Actively pursue economic development programs and strategies.
- Continue communication activities and implement programs that promote citizen involvement.
- Create and implement a comprehensive cultural arts plan (facilities and programs).
Operating Budget and Capital Budget
In Gaithersburg, prior to July of each year, the Mayor and City Council adopt the annual budget for the period covering July 1st through June 30th.
The Operating Budget covers the day-to-day delivery of City services. It is similar to a family budget for daily needs, such as rent and utilities. Operating expenditures provide the hours worked by City employees and the supplies they use to deliver services such as police services, recreation programs, street maintenance, landscaping, and a Parks system.
The Capital Budget is for the improvement, construction or purchase of major City assets, similar to a family which saves money to buy a house. The City uses a pay-as-you-go philosophy, setting aside funds for projects annually until they are fully funded. A project, such as the Skate Park at Bohrer Park at Summit Hall Farm, is an example of the philosophy where the construction is in the Capital Budget but the staff and supplies needed to operate the Skate Park are funded from the Operating Budget.
Governments use fund accounting to keep different types of revenue and expenditures separate from each other depending upon the purpose of the fund. Each fund has a fund title and accounting code for reference purposes. The General Fund is just as the name implies - a fund that can be used for any general public purpose. This is the primary fund in the City Operating Budget and is used to account for the delivery of basic municipal services such as police, parks maintenance, street maintenance, recreation programs, and the operation of City- owned facilities.
Basis of Budgeting
The budget of the City of Gaithersburg is prepared on a cash basis with the exception of certain accrued personnel services and employee benefit costs. The levels of appropriation control for each budgeted activity may not be exceeded. Funds that are committed, but not yet expended, are shown as encumbrances in the current year.
FY 2001 BUDGET DEVELOPMENT
In October of each year, the Mayor and City Council, the City Manager, and selected staff go on retreat to review the City's Mission, Vision, Guiding Principles and Strategic Directions. At the retreat, the financial condition of the City is presented in preparation of the upcoming budget cycle. With this information, the Mayor and City Council establish broad budget parameters by identifying priority goals as presented within the Strategic Directions.
In February of each year, the City Manager holds a Citizens' Budget Forum, inviting the citizens to identify desired services or projects. The City Manager does his best to include their suggestions in the proposed City Budget.
Budget Development Phase
During the four-month period from January through April 2000, the City Manager and Department Heads prepared the FY 2001 Budget based on the Mayor and City Council's policy direction. In April 2000, the City Manager presented the budget to the Mayor and City Council for public hearing. In May 2000, the Mayor and City Council held three work sessions for public input and deliberations. The Mayor and City Council adopted the FY 2001 Budget on Monday, June 19, 2000.
Given the relatively strong financial condition of the City, the Mayor and City Council have been able to approve some increases in City services for FY 2001.
Some significant General Fund budget changes include salaries for three new full-time positions: Assistant to the Director of Public Works and two Senior Public Service Workers. Two former employment agreement positions have been upgraded to full-time status: Grants Administrator and Environmental Specialist. Two new employment agreement positions have been added to FY 2001: Animal Control Officer and Cultural Arts Program Coordinator.
General Fund Operating Budget Detail
The budget decisions regarding the General Fund are most significant because the General Fund supports all City services. Although annual expenditures are expected to exceed the revenues collected in the fiscal year, the FY 2001 budget is balanced. The difference is made up by the use of reappropriations (prior year's annual expenditure savings and revenue in excess of estimates). For FY 2001, approved General Fund appropriations are $32,503,914, made up of $23,869,314 anticipated operating expenditures and operating transfers to fund the Capital Improvements Projects Budget of $8,634,600.
The revenue categories of the General Fund for the FY 2001 Budget are as follows:
County Government Grants and Shared Taxes
Licenses and Permits
Grants from Federal & State Government
All Other Revenue
Local Tax revenue is generated by the $.53 per $100 of assessed value of real and personal property within the boundaries of the City. County Government Grants and Shared Taxes are comprised primarily of shared income taxes and Montgomery County's commitment to Olde Towne revitalization.
The categories of expenditure in the General Fund for the FY 2001 budget are as follows:
Operating Transfer to CIP
Parks, Recreation and Culture
Planning & Code Administration
Finance & Administration
STAFFING PLAN SUMMARY
The approved budget supports 204 full time equivalent positions (FTE) for FY 2001. The use of a full time equivalent position count instead of a count of jobs provides more accurate information regarding the hours of work budgeted for the City. For example, one job which is funded for a part-time employee to work 20 hours per week is budgeted as 0.5 FTE.
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS (CIP)
The FY 2001 Capital Budget totals $8,634,600. This compares to $8,777,000 approved for 2000. The difference is a decrease of $142,400 or 1.6 percent. The decrease reflects one-time CIP projects funded by the Mayor and City Council in 2000. Of the current CIP budget of $8,634,600, $3,855,000 will come from the county and state to be used for Olde Towne revitalization projects.
Copies of the budget book may be picked up at City
Hall or downloaded from this site.
Budget documents are provided in PDF format and can be viewed with the Adobe Acrobat
Reader. This format will enable you to view the document as it appears
in print. If you do not already have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed
follow the link above to Adobe's free download area.
Complete City Budget (PDF, 2.1 MB)
City Manager Subset (PDF, 201k)
Finance and Administration Subset (PDF, 96k)
Parks, Recreation and Culture Subset (PDF, 413k)
Planning and Code Administration Subset (PDF, 81k)
Police Department Subset (PDF, 101k)
Public Works, Parks Maintenance and Engineering Subset (PDF, 557k)