Here is how city staff is planning on creating a planning department capable of meeting community needs.
Community Development Department
During 2018, there has been significant discussion about the City establishing its own Community Development Department as part of its overall efforts “to be recognized as America’s most innovative development services team.” The goals are to 1) foster a culture of continuous improvement and innovation, 2) exceed expectations, 3) collaborate, 4) measure performance, and 5) deliver value in all that we do. It has been determined that a Community Development Department would have an annual expense of approximately $1.6 million and annual revenues of $.5 million.
During the City Council’s most recent discussion, it was requested that creating a new department be considered during the budget process. The recommended budget does not include funds for a Community Development Department. Rather, the City’s Administration and Finance team have developed a funding strategy for City Council consideration that limits the ongoing need for new financial resources. As such, it is recommended that the Council approve the following financial strategy and direct staff to include the funds in the adopted budget.
There are two primary funding sources that have been identified to minimize the need for a significant tax levy increase. The first strategy is to pay for the 2019 partial year expense using a one-time transfer of $1 million from the sales tax funds. By doing so would eliminate the need for any tax levy support in the first year. The second strategy is to re-allocate the current Downtown Abatement District special levy of approximately $1 million annually that will expire after 2019 to the Community Development Department. Beginning in 2020, the new department would require $1.25 million in support and re-allocating the tax abatement funds would allow for a more seamless transition. It is also important to note that the City Council could review the City’s development fees to evaluate if any increases are warranted. If so, this would decrease the tax levy support in future years.
Sales Tax Surplus
Re-allocate from Abatement District
Property Tax Levy
Increase in Development Fees
2019 $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $0 $0 2020 $1,250,000 $0 $1,000,000 $250,000 2021 $1,300,000 $0 $1,000,000 $300,000
If the City Council concurs with this funding strategy, it is recommended that the City immediately proceed with the hiring of a Community Development Director to lead the hiring of the new team, review existing processes, and assist with finding a location for the Community Development Department, Building Safety Department, and Public Works Department to be located in the same office space. The Community Development Department would begin serving the community on July 1, 2019.