Cary Town Manager Sean R. Stegall Presents FY 18 Budget Proposal and Ideas for Reimagining Process
- $311 million total recommended budget allocates $242.17 million for operations and $68.55 million for capital projects; property tax rate and solid waste fee unchanged while utility rates rise three percent.
- Emphasis to shift from annual “budget event” to quarterly updates using rolling forecasts for increased responsiveness and agility.
- Review Stegall’s proposals online and comment during May 25 or June 8 public hearings.
Cary, NC –Cary Town Manager Sean R. Stegall is proposing a $310,720,220 budget for Fiscal Year 2018, which runs from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018. His recommendation, which is 2.9 percent less than this year’s adopted budget, allocates $242,166,936 for operations and $68,553,284 for capital projects. The property tax rate remains unchanged at 35 cents per $100 of real property value, and the solid waste fee is unchanged at $16 per month. The forecasted utility rate increase is held to just three percent for a typical household, along with a five cents increase in the monthly base charge.
“This budget – my first in Cary but 17th in my career - is not a top-down plan filled with new ideas and initiatives,” said Stegall, who became the Town’s CEO on August 4, 2016. “It’s really an effort to keep us on track with where we’ve been while the staff, Council, and I continue to work together to determine how the organization can and must change to keep Cary great in the years to come by fulfilling the vision set forth in the Cary Community Plan.”
Adopted by the Town Council in late January, Cary’s new community plan (aka Imagine Cary) was several years in the making and involved thousands of participants. It sets Cary’s course through 2040 and addresses where and how citizens will live, shop, work, move, engage and much more. “We must ensure that our business goals, projects, and accountability are strongly tied to Imagine Cary,” said Stegall.
Stegall also wants to move away from an ”annual budget event” and more toward a corporate model where staff makes regular updates to the Council using rolling forecasts of both revenues and expenditures. “We are reimagining our operations. We have to think like a startup,” said Stegall, who is recommending that the Town not appropriate all of the $2.71 million in available expansion funds right now; instead, he is recommending that $1.38 million be set aside and used throughout the year as the quarterly discussions unfold. “We must have an open and dynamic process that includes a wide range of stakeholders.”
Stegall formally presented his recommendations during tonight’s regular Town Council meeting. Additional budget highlights include: A detective to help advance the community’s efforts to address the opioid crisis and a position to help plan transit capital projects (funded through Wake County’s designated sales tax); $3 million toward the grade separation of CSX Rail at Carpenter Fire Station Road; $850,000 to design a neighborhood park near Cameron Pond Drive; $1 million for historic preservation; and $300,000 for owner-occupied housing rehab as well as $100,000 for downtown façade improvements.
Citizens are invited to share their thoughts about Stegall’s proposals during public hearings at the regular Town Council meetings on May 25 of June 8 at 6:30 p.m. at Town Council Chambers, 316 N. Academy St. Citizens are also invited to observe Town Council budget discussions at work sessions on May 23, June 6 and June 20 (if needed); work sessions, which do not include public speaking time on the agenda, begin at 6 p.m. in the Police Department Training Room, 120 Wilkinson Ave. Changes to the recommended budget are planned to be voted on in conjunction with the entire budget at the regular Council meeting on June 22. North Carolina law requires local governments to adopt a balanced budget by June 30 since the new fiscal year starts July 1.
View the Town Manager’s Recommended Budget under the “Publications” section at www.townofcary.org. Printed copies of the proposed budget are available for review starting May 12 at the Town Clerk’s Office in Cary Town Hall and at both Wake County libraries in Cary: 4000 Louis Stephens Drive and 310 S. Academy Street.
Karl Knapp, Budget Director, (919) 462-3911
Susan Moran, Public Information Director, (919) 460-4951
Deanna Hawkes, Deputy Public Information Officer, (919) 380-4240