2021 Draft Budget

 

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CITY OF READING

 

MAYOR

Eddie Moran

 

MANAGING DIRECTOR

Pedro Cortes

 

COUNCIL MEMBERS

Jeffrey S. Waltman, Sr., President
Lucine Sihelnik
Stratton Marmarou
Marcia Goodman-Hinnershitz
Donna Reed
Melissa Ventura
Johanny Cepeda-Freytiz

 

CITY AUDITOR

Maria Rodriguez

 

 

EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT

Chief of Police Richard Tornielli
Chief of Fire and Rescue Services William Stoudt Jr.
Director of Administrative Services Jamar L. Kelly
Director of Public Works Charles Jones
Director of Community Development Jamal Abodalo
Solicitor Elizabeth Kraft, Esquire

 

 

2021 Proposed Annual Operating Budget

 

  1. Budget Message
  2. Revenues – General Fund
  3. Expenditures – Mayor’s office
  4. Expenditures – City Council / City Clerk
  5. Expenditures – City Auditor
  6. Expenditures – Managing Director
  7. Expenditures – Finance Services
  8. Expenditures - Human Resources
  9. Expenditures – Public Works
  10. Expenditures – Police
  11. Expenditures – Fire
  12. Expenditures – Community Development
  13. Expenditures – City Solicitor
  14. Expenditures – Reading Public Library
  15. Expenditures – Boards and Commissions
  16. Expenditures – Human Relations Commission
  17. Expenditures – Miscellaneous
  18. Expenditures – Shade Tree Fund
  19. Expenditures – Agency Fund
  20. Expenditures – Capital Projects Fund
  21. Expenditures – Liquid Fuels Fund
  22. Expenditures – Self Insurance Fund
  23. Expenditures – Sewer Fund/Storm Water
  24. Expenditures – Solid Waste Fund
  25. Expenditures – Water
  26. Ordinances

 

2021 BUDGET PROPOSAL

 

In accordance with Article IX of the City of Reading’s Home Rule Charter, I submit to City Council an annual operating budget for the City of Reading for the fiscal year beginning January 1, 2021 and ending December 31, 2021 (FY2021).

The General Fund budget proposal balances revenues and expenditures of $92,744,810 for 2021, compared to the 2020 budget of $94,494,000. I challenged my team to reduce the baseline of the budget from the previous year which required an across the board reduction of operating expenses by a minimum of 15% to achieve this goal. Reductions in health insurance premiums and the required pension MMO [Minimum Municipal Obligation] contributed to us reaching that goal as well.

First and foremost, my budget proposal retains the current level of public services which residents of our City expect despite the global economic decline experienced by the COVID-19 pandemic. We recognize that our residents deserve the highest quality of service that we can provide within a realistic budget. Compromises have been and will continue to be made in this decision process in order to leave the oversight from ACT 47 no later than the end of 2022. It is no longer suitable for this city to avoid the hard decisions that will enable us to continue to move our City to achieve financial stability and sustainability. The ACT 47 Exit plan stated the need for a property tax increase in order to balance the budget. Therefore, I reluctantly propose a 1.77 millage increase [equivalent to 10%] of Real Estate Tax for FY2021 which is essential to our financial viability and compliance with the ACT 47 Exit plan that was adopted by the City last year.

REVENUE

 

The 2021 General Fund Budget proposes a 1.77 millage real estate tax increase to fund operations. It also requires the use of $2,322,393 in fund balance reserve to close the deficit presented by revenue losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This approach is in line with keeping the City in compliance with its fund balance policy as well as the constraints of the Act 47 Exit plan.

 

2021 General Fund Revenue

 

 

EXPENDITURES

 

The 2021 General Fund Expenditure Budget proposes reductions in operating expenses while still allowing for a cost of living wage increase of 2.5% across the board for our employees. The City’s fixed costs on debt, employee pension benefits and retired employee health insurance still consume more than a third of the General Fund budget.

2021 General Fund Expenditures

 

 

I would like to thank the staff who worked diligently to deliver this proposed budget on time and I appreciate your consideration in approving this budget.

Thank you,
Eddie Moran
Mayor