The Noblesville 2020 Civil City budget was approved by the Common Council at its October 29 meeting. The budget totals $76,629,201, with a general fund budget of $47 million – a increase of 3 percent from 2019.

A guiding theme for Controller Jeff Spalding and the office of finance and accounting was to “right size and realign” the overall structure of Civil City budget to best use taxpayer dollars wisely and allocate finances logically and clearly.

“By right size and realigning, you can look at the budget and it can tell a story of what’s going on in the city,” said Spalding. “Noblesville is a growing city with a strong tax base. The city’s cash reserves have been growing and are very strong. Our certified net assessed value has grown 42 percent since 2015 – an annual increase of 7.3 percent.”

The Noblesville Civil City budget does increase but is not growing faster than its revenue. The approved 2020 budget is balanced and is projected to slightly increase cash reserves.

“The utmost care was taken so the city has a fiscal plan that doesn’t outstrip its resources and overly burden the taxpayers,” Spalding said. “While the 2020 tax rate has not been calculated and finalized by the state, the city anticipates it will remain around the 2018 and 2019 rates and be no higher than $1.10 per $100 of assessed value. Keeping the tax rate around that amount is a firm goal of the city’s administration and council.”

Several recommendations with the 2020 Civil City budget include:

* The budget allows the hiring of 8 new full-time positions and one part-time position. The positions include fire department (4), police (2), mayor’s office (1), maintenance (1) and street department (1). The estimated costs with benefits for the positions is $716,000.

* Full-time city employees will receive a raise of 3 to 4 percent.

* Public safety is the No. 1 priority in our community. In 2020, public safety accounts for 65 percent of the general fund budget and 44 percent of the overall Civil City budget. Capital equipment requests include body cameras for officers, expanding officer wellness services, incorporating child advocacy and mental health services and design fees for Station No. 74’s remodel.

* Money to upgrade roundabout landscaping.

* The budget includes $3.1 million for road resurfacing and sidewalk improvements.

* $1.3 million for design, right-of-way acquisition and construction of trail projects.

“This year, we have more comprehensive budgeting for planned capital project expenditures. We’re heading on a path that identifies and prepares for specific project plans – like the city match for INDOT roundabouts, South 10th Street Trail and Stony Creek Trail,” Spalding said.