Council Approves $24 Million Budget for 2020

Avon Town Council Approves $24 Million Budget

 (October 10, 2019) At the October 10 Avon Town Council meeting, the Council voted to approve a $24 million budget for 2020.  In this year’s budget process the Avon Town Council chose to re-focus its budgetary priorities on public safety.  In 2014, the Town Council, began expanding police services by hiring additional officers and supporting proactive initiates to reduce crime.  While preparing the 2020 budget, the Town Council took a closer look at the call volume placed upon our officers and the needs of our police department who have been historically operating their programs on grant revenue.  As these grant opportunities dissolve, the responsibility to provide sustained funding for public safety has become our priority. 

The Town Council is moving forward with an aggressive plan to add four officers to our police department in an effort to be more proactive than ever before.  In the process of communicating with our residents, we have discovered a resounding amount of support to prioritize public safety in our community.  This feedback was provided to our council during public meetings, direct conversations, as well as a citizen survey that was also supported by a MIBOR Community Preference Survey. 

In order to balance the budget in 2020 and commit to hiring four new officers, the Town Council was tasked with the unpleasant process of cutting nearly $400,000 from budget requests from all department heads.  Because most of the Town’s individual funds are highly restricted, the vast majority of funding for personnel was largely limited to two funds.  “Due to the statutory restrictions on uses of certain funds, we find that investing in capital improvements is fairly easy.  Hiring new police officers in a sustainable manner is extremely difficult” explained Town Council President, Marcus Turner.

Cuts made to the proposed budget included elimination of the community grant program, purchase of a non-police vehicle, wellness program benefits for employees and website updates.  Other adjustments to budget line items included minor reductions in paving from un-restricted funding sources, park/sidewalk maintenance and a contribution to the Avon Chamber of Commerce.  Town Council Vice President, Steve Eisenbarth stated “The Council took no pleasure in making the cuts that were necessary to hire additional officers.  It came down prioritizing public safety over non-essential spending out of our General and EDIT funds.  Public safety is one of the most important services the Town of Avon provides its residents.

The Avon Town Council truly believes that the 2020 budget prioritizes the needs and desires of our residents while still investing in capital improvements that have benefited our community in past years.  Some of these improvements will include nearly $2 million in road maintenance, $1 million as Town’s local match for a State Community Crossing grant to repave Dan Jones, widening of 100 South from Reagan Parkway to Dan Jones Road, design for widening Dan Jones Road from south of the CSX bridge to 150 South, various parks/trail improvements, stormwater improvements and funding of a local match in partnership with the Army Corps of Engineers to protect the streambank along CR 625 East, south of the Haunted Bridge.

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