By RACHAEL LONG
The city of Brentwood unanimously passed its fiscal year 2019-2020 budget with a spending plan of more than $92 million at Tuesday night’s City Commission meeting.
During a May City Commission meeting, City Manager Kirk Bednar told city leaders that the budget was a “pretty significant increase” over the previous year. He explained that the majority of the increase came primarily from two funds: the capital improvements fund and those carried over from FY 2019’s state street aid fund.
In the Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) fund, Bednar said about $17 million in the FY 2020 budget is related to the new police headquarters building.
“While it is a significant increase overall, it’s really related to some one-time things,” Bednar said in May.
The budget in its entirety can be found here on the city’s website.
Before Tuesday’s vote, Bednar reminded commissioners that the decision on the budget was one of the larger items of actions they would take during the year.
“We’ve gone over this thoroughly in an all-day meeting and discussed it in a little more detail at the last reading,” Bednar said. “But there are a couple of items that you all need to consider in terms of allocation of funding.”
The items Bednar was referring to had to do with educational funding. During its discussion, the City Commission amended the budget to allocate funds to several public schools in Brentwood. Most schools received funds in the same ballpark that was requested, excluding a request of $160,000 from Brentwood High School.
Allocations to the twelve schools break down as the following:
- Brentwood High School: $62,400
- Ravenwood High School: $62,400
- Brentwood Middle School: $15,600
- Sunset Middle School: $15,600
- Woodland Middle School: $15,600
- Crockett Elementary School: $10,400
- Edmonson Elementary School: $10,400
- Kenrose Elementary School: $10,400
- Lipscomb Elementary School: $10,400
- Scales Elementary School: $10,400
- Jordan Elementary School: $10,400
- Sunset Elementary School: $10,400
For FY 2019, the amount of funding contributed to Sunset Elementary School was prorated at $5,100 because its enrollment consisted of less than 50% Brentwood residents, according to the city.
Funding to Sunset Elementary in the amount of $10,400 was approved Tuesday night, subject to review and validation of student population residency data in August.
“I think it shows that this community cherishes education, [by] the fact that the citizens allow us to do this, to vote on this and to get this extra money to the schools,” Mayor Rhea Little said Tuesday.
In addition to educational funding, City Commissioners approved an amendment to the city budget allocating funds for recreational program services
Allocation of funding for city recreation programs will also be considered by commissioners Tuesday, with available funds in the amount of $102,000. The requested amount for FY 2020 totals $108,000.
The breakdown of the requested funds is as follows:
- FiftyForward Martin Center: $50,000
- Brentwood Ball Club: $21,000
- Brentwood Blaze Youth Football: $18,000
- Brentwood YMCA: $13,000
- Mid Cumberland Human Resources Agency: $3,250
City Commissioners also voted to approve a 4.5% increase to the City Manager’s salary, based on a 1.5% increase which applies to all city employees, as well as a 3% merit raise.
After the Board of Commissioners voted to approve the funds for recreational services, Dunn made a comment that the funds given to the programs actually saved the city money in lieu of operating its own programs.
“These are not donations to charities or nonprofits,” Dunn said. “If we operated a sports program — as some cities do — and hired staff to organize all the games, tournaments, and provide all the programming that a full-fledged recreation department would have to do, we’d spend a lot more money than we’re donating to these groups.”