DOVER — City Council unanimously approved its fiscal year 2022 budget during a meeting Monday, with $157 million in new revenue and $160.5 million in expenditures.
Interim City Manager Matt Harline noted that expenditures exceeding revenue can be attributed to a drawdown of balances, citing the parkland reserve fund as an example.
He said the 2022 budget includes almost $30 million in capital investments, primarily within the electric fund.
The property tax rate went up to 41.5 cents per $100 of assessed value, an increase of 1 cent but lower than the 5.5-cent jump staff originally sought. The trash-removal fee was changed to $23 for those living in city limits, up from $21.
This budget includes an $11 million transfer from the electric utility, which is 12.6% of the electric fund revenue and 22.7% of the general fund revenue.
The budget also includes a $1 million transfer from the water/wastewater utility, which is 5.7% of that fund’s revenue and 2.1% of the general fund revenue.
This fiscal year’s budget also includes a $2.3 million increase in transfer to the Capital Investment Program budget. In addition, there is a $691,600 increase in police operations, which will fund a 3.9% overall increase, five new officers and nine new police cars.
The Public Works Capital Investment Program budget is growing by $2.3 million and includes Persimmon Park funding from the state, as well as an increase of $556,000 to fund street and sidewalk improvements and replacement of vehicles left out of the FY2021 budget.
The first reading of the proposed budget ordinance was held during a meeting June 14. The budget is available on the city’s website.
Noting that the budget process is a “multi-month” one that involves all departments, Mr. Harline praised council for being “more proactive” and “more involved” than it has been in several years.
“I compliment you for your study, your interest and your participation in the budget process,” he said.
He likened the budget to a plan where council and city staff put their priorities into dollar figures. He noted that the budget is likely to change as the fiscal year, which begins Thursday, progresses.
“On July 2, we’ll probably start making small adjustments,” Mr. Harline said. “We can’t see the future, and we know there will be some adjustments later on when we have a full idea of what American Rescue Plan Act money will be available for the city of Dover.”
Council President Roy Sudler thanked Mr. Harline for his work on the budget, saying members feel “very comfortable” with it.
Also during Monday’s meeting, the city’s Electric Department was presented a plaque from Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, honoring the “outstanding service” it provides the city. Electric Director Paul Waddell received the plaque.
Dover Downs also donated $500 to the electric fund.
“On behalf of Dover Downs, I’m proud to recognize the commitment and the dedication the Electric Department provides the city, residents and the businesses of Dover,” said Tony Rohrer, Dover Downs vice president and general manager. “Truly, truly outstanding service.”
An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the property tax rate went up to 46 cents per $100 of assessed value, an increase of 2 cents.