Indian Head council adopts FY2017 budget
Sets aside funds to help revitalization, centennial celebration
The Indian Head Town Council adopted its $3.6 million fiscal year 2017 financial plan and budget at its town meeting May 2.
According to Mayor Brandon Paulin, the adopted budget represents the council’s best efforts to balance the service levels and finances for residents who rely on the town’s services.
The Town of Indian Head’s combined total of budgeted funds for FY 2017 is $3,644,870, which includes set aside funds to continue to revitalize the town’s conditions and services.
The council originally held a public hearing on April 14 to introduce the budget to Indian Head residents before its adoption on May 2. The ordinance adopting the town’s financial plan and budget includes setting the tax rate, schedule fees for various permits, the major facilities fees, water sewer and trash removal and disposal rate for the fiscal year. The financial plan and budget will go into effect July 1.
According to Town Manager Ryan Hicks, the general fund total expenditures for FY2017 is $1,765,109 and the total enterprise funds for the fiscal year is $1,879,761.
“We did not raise taxes, nor did we increase our water, waste water and trash fees, so we did not increase any of our current fees,” Hicks said.
The town’s property tax rate also remains the same at $0.30 per $100 of the full market value.
“We have included the boardwalk on the Potomac and the connector trail as some of the projects currently being worked on or have recently been completed in the town. The town has been implementing grant funded projects, with funds rewarded in recent years and has also sought out additional grant funds for projects that will be carried out in future years. We also have a new parks and recreation department that is being fully funded by a councilman and the vice mayor’s donations,” Hicks said.
“I have donated my town salary to fund parks and recreation along with a donation from Vice Mayor Ron Sitoula. I have committed to focusing on our youth so I have solicited donations from other sources and feel optimistic,” said Councilman Curtis Smith. “The town’s waste water treatment facility, our most critical piece of infrastructure, and the pavilion ex- penditures are also of major concern as we pull 61 percent from the general funds.”
The council is working to fulfill main objectives in this year’s budget such as repairing and replacing aging infrastructure, allocating costs among the various funds, preparing for major capital projects in years ahead, increasing the police presence in the town, continuing to expand upon the town’s community and children’s activities and providing the town with well trained and educated employees.
“We were able to maintain our tax rate and I know the residents are very appreciative of that and we’re also bringing some new things to the town such as restrooms out on the Village Green and online bill pay that will be on the town’s website,” Paulin said. “The online bill pay helps our town staffing who have to process the payments. We always have an issue with staff being in multiple roles and it will alleviate a lot of tasks so they can work on bigger projects.”
The town has also set funds aside to celebrate the town’s 2020 centennial event and is preparing ahead of time for other longterm expenditures to improve town services.
“We made some smart decisions in the budget about beginning to save for the town’s upcoming centennial event in 2020 and healthcare options for town employees without sacrificing the quality of care. We also made some pretty substantial savings which helped fund and balance other areas of needs. However, we do need to do more for the kids and elderly at Indian Head. Though some progress has been made, the amount budgeted is still not enough,” Sitoula said.
The town has not yet added the recent Environmental Protection Agency fee to the FY2017 budget. Hicks said as soon as the EPA sends the council more information about the fee he will then create a budget amendment that will need to be added to either FY2016 budget or the FY2017 budget.
“Overall the budget is great,” Paulin said. “It allows us flexibility and it shows that we are covering the essentials and bringing in more conveniences for the residents. I believe we covered all of our bases and once the sustainable community goes through I think it will be very important that we start pursuing grants for funding. We are still waiting to hear back about the sustainable community grant and once that goes through you can guarantee we will be applying for more grants to help fund the town.”