The Clarksville City Council approved a new City budget for fiscal year 2023-24 that will not include a City property tax increase, and recognizes the importance of spending for public safety, quality of life, and service to the citizens of Clarksville.
The total City of Clarksville budget for the new fiscal year effective July 1 is valued at more than $787 million, reflecting continued growth
amid a total Census-estimated citywide population now approaching 177,000 people.
Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts has high praise for the City Council for its unity on, and involvement in, the preparation of this new budget which reflects that the City remains in a strong fiscal position.
Mayor Pitts said he is also grateful to all City departments for coming together with a well-planned budgeting approach, adding the professionalism of the Finance Department is key to the process.
“I am grateful for the unanimous approval of the fiscal year 2024 budget by the City Council,” Mayor Pitts said. “We placed a heavy emphasis on public safety and quality of life, while balancing the priorities of a growing city.
“It should be noted that the property tax rate remains the same. Thank you to Laurie Matta, our Chief Financial Officer; Christen Wilcox, Deputy CFO, and every city employee who helped us craft a budget that will stand the test of time,” Mayor Pitts said.
Budgeted expenditures in the City General Fund will total $156,522,481 in fiscal 2024, and the City’s ending fund balance in the General Fund is projected at a healthy $32,533,712.
The City tax rate to support this share of the budget will remain unchanged at the current rate of $1.23 per $100 of assessed property value.
The City has a capital projects funds budget of $222,640,783, and debt service.expenditures of $11,996,493.
The City’s capital projects budget remains robust this year. The City will continue to progress on the Mayor’s Transportation 2020+ plan Tier 1 projects, but other needs are included as well. They include:
1.) The new Fire Station 6 on land the city purchased this fiscal year on Arrowood Drive in North Clarksville, to replace the outdated location on Ashbury Road
2.) The new Clarksville Police Department District 4 precinct that’s to be part of the City-County Public Safety campus at Outlaw Field
3.) Completion of the first phase of the Exit 8-Rossview Road Athletic Complex utilizing funding that is already in place
4.) New multipurpose sports fields for Edith Pettus and Dixon parks
5.) The City remains committed to the regional recreational complex on property that is large enough to accommodate a wide range of facilities and activities
Under enterprise fund expenditures, there are these: Electric ($184,230,742), Broadband ($28,763,892), Gas ($33,405,023), Water and Wastewater ($80,513,475), Transit ($16,092,398), and Parking Commission ($508,580) for a subtotal of $343,506,110.
All enterprise funds combined have an estimated ending fund balance in fiscal 2024 of $860,386,308.
Mayor Pitts and the City Department Heads collectively worked on preparing a budget that, as he said, is “balanced, maintains a healthy but realistic fund balance, invests in our workforce, and truly reflects a diverse set of priorities within our City.”
Proof of solid financial management in the City of Clarksville is reflected in the fact that the City holds a AA+ bond rating from top rating agency, Fitch Ratings.
The Finance & Revenue Department was also awarded the Excellence in Finance Award by the Government Municipal Finance Officials organization for the eighth year in a row. Mayor Pitts said this shows consistency which is very important in the financial world, “and it reflects innovation, with the newly-established Vehicle Replacement Fund paying dividends in City vehicle replacement timing in this era of short supply and long turnaround for new vehicles,” he said.
The City’s budget planning priorities remained largely unchanged from fiscal 2023, and stem from an emphasis on strategic planning in City departments over the past five years.
The emphasis of this planning is on the priorities of improving infrastructure and alleviating traffic issues, enhancing initiatives for youth development, strengthening community and regional partnerships, fostering downtown development and supporting legacy neighborhood restorations, enhancing and reinforcing public safety, expanding and supporting citizen and community engagement, improving operational efficiency and bolstering customer satisfaction, and supporting City workforce well-being and productivity.
The adopted budget included these late amendments to the budget ordinance at first and second readings within the past week::
– First reading amendment sponsored by Councilperson Travis Holleman, to fund a tuition reimbursement plan for city employees that will be created by the city’s Human Resources Department. Total amendment: $50,000.
– Second reading amendment sponsored by Councilperson Karen Reynolds, to fund a tree inventory for the City through the Tree Board. Total amendment: $30,000.
– Second reading amendment sponsored by Councilperson Brian Zacharias, to purchase automated external defibrillators (AED’s) for the Ajax Turner Senior Center. Total amendment: $5,000.
– Clean-up budget amendment sponsored by Councilperson Stacey Streetman to roll capital outlay items to include vehicles and equipment delayed by the supply chain, from the current fiscal year to fiscal 2023-24.
– Grant fund allocation amendment sponsored by Councilperson Stacey Streetman for a Clarksville Fire Rescue grant that will be used to purchase training equipment.