Follow this link to read the City of Beverly's proposed budget for fiscal year 2024
Dear Honorable Council and Residents of Beverly:
I am excited to share the Fiscal Year 2024 proposed operating budget for the City of Beverly, Massachusetts. This is the first year that we are presenting the Mayor's budget proposal in a digital format. Not only does the budget include the revenues and expenditures the City plans on for the coming fiscal year but it also includes a significant amount of additional information we believe will be helpful to readers and provide additional information that has not historically been found in our city's budget. Information on demographic trends, government structure, the history of Beverly, as well as our financial related information such as our long term capital plan, department overviews and financial policies. I hope as a reader you find these improvements to be helpful, transparent and informative as we look to continue to provide quality services for all our residents through the coming fiscal year. I am grateful for your collaborative leadership in our community and the partnership we share during the budget process and throughout the year.
This proposed budget reflects our shared key priorities. Of note, this budget will:
- Increase funding for the Beverly Public Schools by $3.3 Million and for Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School by just under $600,000.
- Continue to deliver consistent, world class city services across all departments
- Invest $2.1 Million this year through the City's paving account, to pave our streets and repair our sidewalks. Together with the anticipated Chapter 90 paving money that comes from the state in the amount of roughly $1.1 Million, we expect to have a minimum of $3.2 Million available for paving this year. In addition, we will request the City Council’s support for an additional amount of funding through free cash for roads and sidewalks prior to the June 30th fiscal year end
- Address key long term components of our operating budget, specifically pension obligations, health care costs and debt service on city infrastructure projects.
- Invest in needed capital equipment including a new pumper fire truck and a variety of other city equipment to aid in construction, snow removal, public safety etc.
I’m proud to say that the budget before you this evening contains all of this, and at a rate of growth that is both responsible and sustainable in the future.
Our Fiscal Year 2024 proposed budget requests an increase of $6.9 Million or 4.6% over the Fiscal Year 2023 approved budget. The largest portion of this increase is directly attributable to non-discretionary cost increases and it has required some departmental spending refinements to contain growth to the responsible level proposed. Most notable of those non –discretionary cost increases are:
- The city’s federally/state mandated pension contribution, which is budgeted at an increase of $583,385 over last year’s level and maintains the current funding schedule
- Debt Service increasing by $346,692 when compared to last year
- Cherry Sheet assessments (ie. Assessments against our state aid) will increase by $210,236, due to numerous assessments increasing, most notably the increase to Charter School Sending Tuition and School Choice Sending Tuition
- Health Insurance expected to cost the City an additional $479,230 in Fiscal Year 2024, which is the net impact of large necessary increases in health insurance premiums, offset by savings to both the city and our retirees by transitioning retirees’ prescription drug coverage to the federal Medicare Part D plan in Fiscal Year 2024.
In addition, collectively bargained pay adjustments are contained throughout this proposed budget in all departments. This budget funds an additional staff member in the Veteran's Services Department as well as an additional patrol officer within the Police Department. In addition, I am proposing a $3,310,006 increase to the school department which includes support for their collective bargaining obligations as well as the significant increase in health insurance premiums that the department pays for its employees. I am also proposing some staffing refinements in Emergency Dispatch, as we fully implement civilian dispatch in Fiscal Year 2024 for our emergency 911 call dispatch service.
Tonight, while I propose a budget for the specific Fiscal Year 2024, we know that decisions contained in this or any other budget have lasting effects that must be taken into account. I say with utmost confidence that this budget is prepared with that eye to the future. This budget will empower our city government to continue to deliver outstanding world class services to our residents. At the same time, it will position us to continue in the coming years to generate strong economic growth locally, and to successfully complete the major capital projects we have agreed are important for our community’s long term success.
I look forward to working with the City Council in the coming days and weeks as you conduct your budget deliberations. Thank you for you good faith partnership and consideration of the proposed Fiscal Year 2024 city of Beverly operating budget we present to you this evening.
Michael P. Cahill, Mayor