Take the Novato City Budget Challenge!
We are in the process of developing our City operating and capital budgets for the 2017-2018 fiscal year and want to hear from you! Take the Novato City Budget Challenge by participating in an online discussion to share your budget priorities with us at novato.org/OpenNovato.
The Finance Division is primarily responsible for the development and preparation of the City of Novato's annual operating budget and Capital Improvement Program budget.
The City of Novato adopts its budget each June for the following fiscal year, which runs from July 1 to June 30. The budget, while a financial document, is also an important policy document, outlining the City Council’s priorities for the upcoming year and showing where the City's funds will be allocated.
The overall citywide expenditure budget for 2016/17 is $65.1 million, just over half of which is represented by the City’s General Fund. The General Fund is where the City budgets for virtually all day-to-day services: police, street maintenance, park maintenance, recreation programs, engineering, planning, building inspection, and internal support services.
The City's Capital Improvement Program budget, at 30% or $19 million of the overall City budget, plans for the construction and maintenance of the wide array of physical infrastructure managed by the City: roads, bridges, parks, City buildings, storm drainage systems, multi-use pathways, retaining walls, etc. Special revenue funds and other funds, making up 19% of the budget, represent a variety of smaller dedicated funds for specialized services such as clean storm water, state and federal grants, vehicle maintenance and replacement, Citywide liability insurance, etc.
How is the City funded and where does that money go?
Capital Improvement Program
The Capital Improvement Program (“CIP”) budget for 2016/17 is $19 million, which includes $3.3 million of new contributions into the program as well as $15.7 million of “carryover” funding – monies for projects that have already been budgeted but are not yet constructed.
The majority of funding, 62% or nearly $12 million, is dedicated to transportation, drainage, and utilities projects. These projects include pavement rehabilitation, bridge repairs, intersection improvements, bike lanes & pedestrian improvements, and storm drainage & retaining wall projects. $4 million will help fund a variety of parks and recreation projects focused on park & field upgrades, playground equipment renovations, recreation facility maintenance, public art, etc. The remainder of the CIP is dedicated to projects related to non-recreation City buildings and implementing technology improvements citywide.
Since 2012, the City has conducted a variety of studies to understand the long-term maintenance needs of most of our City buildings, parks, roadways, storm drainage facilities, and retaining walls. This analysis helps the City plan for the ongoing maintenance and replacement of assets to keep them in good working order. Many of the projects in the CIP, from building roof replacements to playground renovations to re-pavement projects, were borne from these studies.
2016/17 CIP Budget Highlights:
- Completion of the Hill Recreation Area Master Plan and associated construction documents;
- Renovations to the Dogbone Meadow dog park;
- Renovations to other recreation facilities including the Margaret Todd Senior Center, Hamilton Community Center, and Hoog Park playground;
- $1.1 million of long-term maintenance projects for City buildings, facilities, and infrastructure as identified in the Fiscal Sustainability Plan;
- Repair of three City-owned retaining walls locations;
- North Redwood Corridor Streetscape Study;
- Planning for multi-use path on Novato Blvd from Sutro Ave to Stafford Lake;
- Over $500,000 for pavement rehabilitation and bridge repairs; and
- Additional investment of $850,000 in Measure F funds to complete key technology upgrades and improvements to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of city services including a maintenance management system and a new financial / human resources software system.