After a very difficult deliberation and review, the Town Manager and staff are pleased to submit the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget to Town Council and the citizens of Vinton. This budget represents a balanced budget, despite a large revenue decrease anticipated with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our locality. Quality services such as Police, Public Works, Planning and Zoning, Financial services and Community Services, which includes our Community Programs and War Memorial facility, will continue to be offered to the public with minimal service reductions. The Fiscal Year 2021 Budget for all funds totals $11,673,527 and an overall decrease of 4.43%.
Revenues: Before the COVID19 event, the Town was beginning to see recovery in several key areas of our local economy. The Town is heavily dependent on consumer driven revenue sources, and staff has forecasted significant decreases in key areas to protect Town Employees and the services to Town Citizens. More detailed information is available in the PowerPoint presentation attached below.
Expenditures: Each department was asked to critically evaluate their budget and identify budget reduction options while maintaining the core government functions of their respective departments. These budget reductions identified by the departments and Town Management have resulted in a General Fund Budget that is balanced without use of Fund Balance or raising tax rates. This was quite a challenge to accomplish, and we appreciate the assistance of all involved.
Budget Changes: In the current budget, the changes in Personnel include the elimination of one position in our refuse collection program, freezing of three positions for the duration of the fiscal year, and freezing of one position for six months of the fiscal year. The Town was unable to implement a pay plan prepared by Virginia Tech or provide any increases to gross pay. The Town did absorb the health insurance increase, which kept the employee premiums at the same level.
Programs and services have been evaluated and we are proposing to consolidate community programs to certain days to reduce the cost of providing these programs to the public while maintaining the same level of service. Although our capital needs are critical, the significant reduction to Town revenue resulted in a recommended pause of the CIP program for the fiscal year 2021 budget. The Town hopes to re-instate the frozen positions, operating reductions, and capital expenditures as the local economy and revenue collections improve.
This budget represents the Town Manager’s 30th and most difficult budget to prepare in his public service career. He is very proud and appreciative of his staff who have supported him through the process in making the very hard and necessary decisions to create a balanced budget. Although the COVID-19 pandemic was not of our own doing, he is confident that the Town will bounce back, be stronger, and will continue to make Vinton the “IN” place to live, eat, work and play.
If you have any questions, please contact the Town Manager’s Office at 540-983-0607.