Champaign City Manager Presents a Balanced Budget Proposal to City Council

In the Face of Continuing Revenue Decline

Media Briefing Planned for 1:30 p.m. on Monday, May 3 in the City Council Chambers

Champaign City Manager Steve Carter and Finance Director Richard Schnuer will hold a media briefing to present the City’s proposed budget for FY 2010/11. The briefing will be held Monday, May 3, at 1:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers (1st Floor of the City Building at 102 North Neil Street, Champaign). The regularly scheduled Council Study Session will be held the following evening, May 4 at 7:00 p.m., when City staff will make a formal presentation of the proposed budget to the City Council. The City Manager and Finance Director will respond to questions from the press at the 1:30 p.m. briefing.

The City of Champaign Council adopts a balanced budget every year and follows sound financial practices to ensure continuation of services. According to Finance Director Richard Schnuer “While signs of economic recovery are becoming more consistent, the recovery will not quickly return the City’s finances to their prior levels.” The national economy declined into a recession greater than predicted by only a few economists, and its effects are clear nationally, statewide and locally. The City continues to experience significant decreases in major revenues, requiring further budget cuts for the coming fiscal year, FY2010/11, to maintain the City’s sound fiscal position. In its recommended cuts, the City Administration sought to maintain the key services that contribute to the high quality of life, particularly public safety, in Champaign. The proposed budget is balanced, and provides limited new funding for key needs; however, budget reductions over the past few years have affected the City’s ability to maintain service levels.

Staff believes that the public expects belt-tightening versus large increases in broad-based taxes; therefore, the budget-balancing strategy consists of a combination of expenditure reductions, reallocation of resources, and revenue reimbursements. The proposed budget includes no new revenue proposals, although staff continues to work on revenue proposals discussed by Council last year. The budget-balancing strategy includes $2.5 million in balancing measures, as follows:

  • General Fund Expenditure Reductions: $1.3 million including reducing, eliminating and freezing positions, downgrading and extending the life of vehicles and reducing expenditures across all departments. ($537,000 recurring and $737,000 one-time)
  • Reallocation of Resources: $890,000 one-time transfer from the Vehicle Replacement Fund to the General Fund.
  • No New Revenues Proposed: Only additional revenues are $318,000 in one-time reimbursements from the Comcast franchise agreement and $28,000 from a FY2009/10 proposal to phase liquor fee increases over five years.

A copy of the complete proposed budget document will be available for review on May 5th at the Finance Department (2nd floor of the City Building) during normal business hours (Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) and at the reception desk at the Champaign Public Library.