News Flash Home
The original item was published from 5/27/2022 1:41:40 PM to 7/1/2022 12:00:01 AM.

News Flash

Marketing & Communications

Posted on: May 27, 2022

[ARCHIVED] $625.8 Million Budget Proposed for 2022-2023

Police officers and fire fighters would fall under a new pay and career plan to improve retention and the city would issue $55 million in bonds to address necessary maintenance and other high-priority needs under the proposed $625.8 million budget for 2022-23 that City Manager Lee Garrity sent yesterday to Mayor Allen Joines and the City Council.

The proposed budget allocates $406.6 million for operations, $46.6 million for debt service and $165.1 million for capital improvements. The property tax rate would be set at 63.6 cents for every $100 of value, an increase of 2.36 cents. 

The budget will be formally presented to Joines and the City Council at a special meeting May 31. The City Council’s Finance Committee will hold a public hearing on the budget June 2. The City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing and vote on the budget on June 21. By state law, the council must adopt a budget for 2022-2023 by June 30. The budget would take effect July 1.

In his budget message, Garrity noted that the council will be adopting a budget in an unsettled fiscal environment. “This budget comes at a time where annualized inflation is on the rise,” Garrity said, “labor markets are increasingly tightening, and supply chain issues are causing delays and price increases.” Because of these uncertain economic conditions, the budget assumes a conservative 3 percent growth in sales tax receipts even though growth has been substantially higher during the current fiscal year.

Garrity recommends that the city issue $55 million in limited obligation bonds to fund a variety of maintenance and infrastructure needs as well as priorities the City Council identified in its strategic plan. Limited obligation bonds do not require voter approval.

Of this, $21.5 million in bonds would address stream erosion in city parks, bridge replacement, street resurfacing and other major maintenance needs. $11.45 million would be earmarked for improvements and maintenance at recreation facilities and $8.75 million would go toward improvements at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds, Truist Stadium and Bowman Gray Stadium. 

To address the priority the council has placed on economic development, the bond package includes $6 million for a job training center that would offer instruction to meet the city’s critical staffing needs as well as other job-readiness training.

To address another strategic priority – affordable housing – the proposed budget recommends adding three positions to the Community Development Department to support housing development and redevelopment services, and a position to coordinate the efforts of local agencies that serve the homeless.

Overall, the budget recommends 35 new positions, counting 14 positions that will be required when the city brings recycling collection service in-house next April. Currently, recycling is collected under a contract with Waste Management Inc. 

Transitioning to in-house collection will save $4 million over nine years. However, due to significant increases in the current contract, .86 cents of the proposed property tax increase would fund the recycling program.

The other 1.5 cents of the proposed increase would fund higher personnel costs, primarily in the form of new pay plans and career ladders for public safety agencies to improve retention and recruiting. Currently, the Police Department has more than 100 vacancies. The new plan would include police pay increases and create two new pay grades, “police officer 2” and “master police officer,” which would give officers the opportunity for pay raises before they reach the rank of corporal. Similar new pay grades would be established for firefighters.

The citywide job vacancy rate is 19 percent. To address that, the proposed budget retains pay adjustments and policies the City Council approved in the middle of the current fiscal year to bolster retention and recruitment. The proposed budget also recommends raises for employees based on merit, which would average 3.8 percent.

The proposed budget for capital improvements, not counting the proposed bonds, includes $66.5 million for water, sewer, stormwater and landfill projects, $14.5 million for transportation and transit and $3.3 million for a new fire truck and other Fire Department needs.

Most user fees would remain the same. However, the City-County Utility Commission is recommending increases in water and sewer rates that would average 4.5 percent. For the average customer the increase would be $1.21 a month. Disposal fees at the Hanes Mill Road Landfill and at yard-waste facilities would go up $1 per ton. 

The proposed budget recommends $1.2 million in grants to community agencies and $659,180 for downtown services and improvements, financed by the 9-cent levy recommended by the Downtown Winston-Salem Business Improvement District Advisory Committee. 

How to participate in the budget process 

  • The proposed budget is available for review in the City Clerk’ Office in City Hall, 101 N. Main St., and will be posted by Tuesday, May 31 at CityofWS.org/Budget
  • The budget will be presented to the mayor and City Council at 4 p.m. May 31, and the City Council’s Finance Committee will hold workshops on the budget at 5 p.m. June 2 and at 4 p.m. June 9 in the City Hall Council Chamber (Room 230) on the second floor of City Hall. These workshops are open to the public but are for the purpose of allowing council members to discuss the proposed budget. WSTV Digital Media will televise these workshops live on Spectrum cable channel 13 and AT&T U-verse channel 99 in Forsyth County. WSTV can also be viewed live online.
  •  The Finance Committee will hold a public hearing on the budget at 7 p.m. June 2 in the Council Chamber. This hearing will be televised live by WSTV.
  • The mayor and City Council will hold a public hearing on the budget at 7 p.m. June 21 in the Council Chamber before voting on the budget. This hearing will be televised live by WSTV.
  • Citizens can also phone in comments about the budget on the city’s Citizen Feedback line, 336-734-1400, or submit comments through a form on the city website. 

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Marketing & Communications

Parkland Pool Closed Pending Repairs

Posted on: July 11, 2022

Joines Urges Use of Masks Indoors

Posted on: June 7, 2022

Bulky Item Collection Begins March 7

Posted on: March 1, 2022
Winston-Salem Marketing & Communications logo

City Edition - March 2021

Posted on: March 5, 2021
Winston-Salem Marketing & Communications logo

City Edition - February 2021

Posted on: February 17, 2020
Winston-Salem Marketing & Communications logo

City Edition - December 2020

Posted on: December 10, 2020
Winston-Salem Marketing & Communications logo

City Edition - October 2020

Posted on: October 21, 2020
Winston-Salem Marketing & Communications logo

City Edition - August 2020

Posted on: July 31, 2020
Winston-Salem Marketing & Communications logo

City Edition - July 2020

Posted on: July 8, 2020
Winston-Salem Marketing & Communications logo

City Edition - June 2020

Posted on: June 3, 2020
Winston-Salem Marketing & Communications logo

City Edition - May 2020

Posted on: May 1, 2020
Winston-Salem Marketing & Communications logo

City Edition - April 2020

Posted on: April 2, 2020
Winston-Salem Marketing & Communications logo

City Edition - March 2020

Posted on: March 5, 2020
Winston-Salem Marketing & Communications logo

City Edition - February 2020

Posted on: February 7, 2020
Winston-Salem Marketing & Communications logo

City Edition - January 2020

Posted on: January 3, 2020