Kirk Bednar

Kirk Bednar, City Manager since 2013

The City of Brentwood authorized significant appropriations for its upcoming fiscal budget with a whopping $43 million surplus.

Mayor Rhea Little, III and the City Commission voted on an appropriations ordinance aimed at the fiscal 2022-2023 budget after fielding the original budget proposal on May 3 and workshopping it on May 12.

The Board of Commissioners voted to approve the expenditure assignments and left approximately $43 million unassigned in the general fund according to City Manager Kirk Bednar.

“I believe we’re projecting at the end of the current year slightly in excess of $43 million, general fund unobligated fund balance,” Bednar explained, “which is approximately 90 percent of the operating budget.”

Separately, projected revenues for the general fund in the coming fiscal year stand at almost $47,845,000 with expenditures accounting for under $47,835,000. This will leave almost another $10,000.

Bednar’s budget letter and the work session in mid-May both addressed how various projects and equipment purchases would be funded in the fiscal 2023 Capital Improvements Program. Chiefly, they dealt with the need to create special year-end transfer from fiscal 2022’s budget to fiscal 2023 of $9.1 million, which would move from the general fund to the capital projects fund, which was acknowledged in the appropriations ordinance commissioners approved.

Other smaller residuals will also be transferred, including $785,000 to the Equipment Replacement Fund and $195,000 to Facilities Maintenance Fund due to current-year excess revenue collections. The special year-end transfer will be fielded by the City Commission along with other budget amendments on June 13.

“We are fully funding implementation of body cameras for the police department as part of this budget, we are fully funding expansion of our license plate reader program in the budget and fully funding our pension obligations and debt service obligations,” Bednar said. “And we are doing all that with no proposed change in the tax rate.”

In the same meeting where the commission approved the appropriations ordinance, it also approved the first reading of an ordinance that carried over the current property tax rate — 29 cents per $100 of assessed value — from this budget to the next.

That is after an anticipated transfer of about $10 million to capital projects on which the Commission will later vote in June for funding next year’s projects. The equipment replacement fund in Brentwood also has its own fund balance and therefore is also not reflected in or subtracting from this surplus.

The appropriations ordinance has to be approved on second and final reading must come after other allocations are made to education funding, the Parks and Recreation Department, and to the Mid-Cumberland Human Resource Agency.

The final reading for the appropriations ordinance is scheduled for the Commission’s June 27 meeting; however, a public hearing will be held on these appropriations for the June 13 meeting.