The Auburn City Council will likely consider the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 Mid-Biennium Budget at its meeting on Tuesday.
The city is on a biennium budget schedule, but undergoes a mid-biennium review halfway into each budget period. The review allows for the city to account for any changes or events that have taken place since a budget's adoption.
The council recently took part in a work session regarding changes to the current budget. City Manager Jim Buston identified 11 significant changes to FY19 and 14 to FY20.
One item that will be added to each budget year for the next 10 years, beginning with FY19, is a $200,000 payment to Auburn University to help fund infrastructure costs for the East Alabama Medical Center's new ER facility, which will be built in Auburn Technology Park. The university is fronting the rest of the infrastructure cost, which is about $3 million.
"Auburn University asked us for $2 million. I think that is a big get financially from our budget, so I asked if they would be amendable to $200,000 for 10 years," City Manager Jim Buston said. "They will front the money to build; we will pay them back over 10 years."
Buston added that the city's Economic Development Department staff did a financial evaluation to estimate how much occupational tax and sales tax the city would receive once this project is up and running. They also figured in a $50,000 annual fee in lieu of taxes that the city will be charging.
"What we came up with — our revenues we expect from this facility locating here would be a little over $200,000 a year," Buston said. "So, I figured this is kind of a wash, and it's a great amenity for the citizens of Auburn."
The council could vote on a contract regarding this arrangement with Auburn University on Tuesday.
Changes in the FY19 budget include a number of items the City Council has already approved.
Some of those include $599,500 for streetscape and traffic improvements for the Gay Street/Glenn Avenue/Mitcham Avenue project; $400,000 for the construction of a skate park ($200,000 of which will be received from the city of Opelika); a $233,038 increase for a Webster Road Connector Project design contract; and a $220,250 increase for the construction of the Annalue Drive Sidewalk project.
Changes for FY20 include $685,090 for work to create Dinius Park, for which funds have been donated by the Dinius Estate and received in 2018, and a $500,000 transfer to the Employee Self-Insurance Fund to pay for insurance claims that mostly arose from injuries of police officers and the death of an officer earlier this year. Other changes include costs for LED light replacements at Duck Samford fields, new project management software for the city's capital improvement project schedule, renovations to the Boykin Community Center, pool grate replacement at Samford Pool and work on the Cox and Wire roads roundabout and intersection improvements, among a few other items.
Also included in the Mid-Biennium Budget are two additional planned borrowings — $15 million for Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plan Phase 1 projects and $12 million for the Wright Street Parking Deck. The city plans to borrow those funds and begin paying off the debt in FY2020.
Tuesday's City Council meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at 171 N. Ross St.