The City’s Budget represents the proposed fiscal plans for the City of Ridgefield. It brings together the direction and policies of the City Council working in a collaborative effort with the citizens, city staff and other interested parties, and best determines the financial resources available to establish the operating and capital plans for the next budget cycle.
The budget process includes meetings with senior management, the Budget Advisory Committee and multiple work sessions with City Council. The Budget Advisory Committee consists of senior management, two council members, and a citizen at large appointed by the Mayor.
The Annual Budget consists of the operating, special revenue, capital service, debt service and capital funds. The operating budget comprises the General, and Street Funds under General Government, and the Water and Stormwater Funds under the Utility Government. Special revenue funds include the Drug, Affordable Housing, and Transportation Benefit District. Capital Service Funds include Real Estate Excise Tax, Park Impact Fees, Traffic Impact Fees, and Water System Development Charges. Capital funds include, General Government, water utility and storm water utility, and the equipment replacement fund.
The City Council holds public hearings on the proposed operating budget before approval prior to the beginning of each fiscal year on January 1.
An annual budget is developed based on Council adopted budget policies. These polices provide the framework for the budget, starting with a baseline operating budget, a review of new requests/initiatives to determine what can be funded, staff and staff allocations, and the development of the special revenue, capital service, debt service and capital project budgets. The baseline operating budget requires the use of realistic revenue estimates and a modest level of increases to ongoing expenditures to account for inflation. Baseline budgets are based on projecting current revenues that will fund the cost to provide core services. It excludes one-time only revenues and expenses, such as grants and capital purchases. New requests or initiatives are then received from each department based on staff knowledge of anticipated needs or implementation of Council policy. The capital budgets are developed from the approved capital facilities plan and prioritized based on critical need, available funding and what can reasonably be accomplished by City staff.
The final adopted budget consists of the revenues and appropriations for the operating, special revenue, capital service, debt service and capital funds.
2023 Adopted Budget: The 2023 budget was adopted on December 1, 2022 by the Ridgefield City Council. The focus of the 2023 budget is infrastructure improvements to support the growing community. The 2023 expense is $88.9 million with $49.6 million of that on capital investment. The operating budget is $23.3 million to support vital public services. The city will add an additional six full-time staff in 2023 with a focus on police and public works maintenance.
2022 Adopted Budget: The 2022 budget includes $62.9 million in expenditures and $59.9 million in revenue. The budget includes the use of $3 million in reserves for multiple capital projects. The proposed budget is a $22.3 million increase over the 2021 amended budget. The total operating budget is $19.5 million and includes adding nine new full-time positions. The capital projects budget is $28.3 million and includes the use of $9 million in grant funding. Public hearings were held on November 4 for revenues, and two public hearings were held on the proposed budget November 18 and December 2.
2021 Annual Budget: The 2021 combined total budget for all funds is $27.4 million, a decrease of $1.1 million from the 2020 amended budget. The total operating budget is $14.1 million. The capital projects budget is $6.2 million. The budget decrease is due to reduced expense related to capital projects. Overall fund balance is expected to increase $1.6 million due to receipt of additional capital funding from development.
2020 Annual Budget: The 2020 combined total budget for all funds is $18.8 million, a decrease of $0.9 million from the original adopted 2019 budget. The total operating budget is $12.4 million. The capital projects budget is $3.2 million. The budget decrease is due to reduced expense related to capital projects. Overall fund balance is expected to increase $3.6 million due to receipt of additional capital funding from development.
2019 Annual Budget: The 2019 combined total budget for all funds is $19.7 million, a decrease of $41.4 million from the original adopted 2018 budget. The total operating budget is $11.2 million. The capital projects budget is $3.9 million. The budget decrease is due to several capital projects that were completed in 2018, including the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex and the 35th and Pioneer roundabout project.