The City of Webster Groves today adopted the City’s budget for Fiscal Year 2023, which will begin on Friday, July 1. The budget was adopted by the City Council with a unanimous vote.
The adopted budget provides total funding of $29,483,155 to power the City’s public services such as street improvement, public works, parks and recreation, planning and development, and public safety. The City’s budget includes a total General Fund budget of $19,416,563. The General Fund budget is the unrestricted operating budget of the City. The remaining funds of the City, such as the Capital and Parks funds, provide specific plans for certain authorized expenditures.
The adopted budget utilizes revenue from the federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding. The City will receive a total of $4.6 million from the federal government. Of the $4.6 million, $771,450 has been budgeted for revenue replacement. Electric vehicles, pedestrian safety, and other one-time purchases will be paid for out of the American Rescue Plan funding (to view the breakdown in how this money is being spent, you can view the chart at webstergrovesmo.gov/arp).
“Using American Rescue Plan funds for these one-time costs makes the most sense financially as the ARP is a one-time influx of cash.,” said Laura Arnold, Mayor of Webster Groves. “The City is also in a financial situation that needs to be remedied, while American Rescue Plan funds have been a help in certain ways, such as launching needed capital investments in sustainability measures and traffic safety, those are one-time funds and do not help to stabilize employee costs long-term. If American Rescue Plan funds were used to shore up staff salaries in the general fund, we will be in a worse position next fiscal year.”
“Our City’s budget points out that our fiscal condition is sound and our bond rating is optimal. We have a great foundation to continue working to solve the structural deficit and build a sustainable financial future,” said Marie Peoples, Webster Groves City Manager. “Staff worked diligently to improve the City’s deficit, however, even with all of this hard work, additional reductions and adjustments need to be made for the long-term fiscal strength of the City.”
Alongside the adoption of the budget, The Council has passed a deficit reduction plan, directing the City Manager to reduce an additional $1 million in expenditures with the goal of eliminating the general fund structural deficit in three fiscal years. Personnel costs including salaries and benefits are the largest expenditure in the budget.
“Because 76% of our budget costs are personnel, we cannot avoid strategic reviews of positions to determine organizational right-sizing,” said Dr. Peoples. “Additionally, it may be necessary to adjust service levels to reflect different staff levels and achieve further efficiencies.”
To learn more about the deficit reduction, visit this informational page.
The adopted budget can be viewed at webstergroves.org/budget or in person at the City Hall Office of the City Clerk or the Webster Groves Municipal Library.