City Gets Good News on Budget

The city will not have to dip into its free cash reserve in order to balance the $196 million Fiscal Year 2022 budget.

Last week, the City Council approved City Manager Thomas Ambrosino’s request to reduce the use of free cash in the FY22 budget from $892,092 to zero.

“We no longer need any free cash to balance the FY22 budget,” stated Ambrosino. “At the time I submitted to the council an FY22 budget in early May of 2021, I anticipated that we would need some free cash to balance the budget.”

The proposed budget was premised upon anticipated revenue from new growth in the city coming in at $1 million, but the financial picture ended up being a lot brighter.

“Our actual new growth for FY22 submitted to the Department of Revenue is more than $3.9 million,” Ambrosino stated. “Because this new growth number is far in excess of what we anticipated at the time of the budget submission, there is no longer any need to utilize free cash reserves to balance the FY22 budget.”

In other financial business, the council also approved a five-year contract with software firm CentralSquare for a new Computer Aided Dispatch and Records Management System (CAD/RMS). The cost of the new system for emergency responses is $144,950.75 annually with a total five-year cost of $724,753.75, according to Ambrosino.

The emergency management, IT, and police and fire departments have been involved in a lengthy process to secure a new dispatch and records management system over the past year, Ambrosino said.

“The current system is long past its useful life,” said Ambrosino. “After a lengthy RFP process, the city selected CentralSquare as its vendor. CentralSquare is offering an advantageous fixed, flat annual fee for its new CAD/RMS system provided the city agrees to a five-year contract.”

Funding for the first two years of the contract has already been approved in a previous Capital Improvement Plan and through free cash appropriations, the city manager stated.

Ambrosino said it will likely take nine to 12 months to complete all the data migration and training for the new system.

Florida-based CentralSquare provides public sector software for local governments across North America.

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