A Maryville budget addressing a range of issues and taking a progressive, future-focused stance on planning is set to take effect this summer.

Maryville city council members unanimously approved a budget on first reading during their June 4 meeting, pushing forward a series of fiscal 2020 decisions and a five-year strategy that focuses on revenue and expanse projections.

“When we looked at this budget we really wanted to focus on strategy,” Finance Director Mike Swift told council members.

Swift said working on budgets with five-year plans gives officials the ability to see the impact of decisions they make in previous years.

Other items Swift covered dealt with the theme of planning ahead, as the budget is set to address growth changes in the city’s workforce through job training and providing departments with “needed resources to maintain high quality of services,” Swift’s presentation showed.

The city plans to hire several new employees in the upcoming year and has focused a portion of its energy on strengthening staffing needs.

Swift’s presentation summarizing the budget’s goals also included continued support for the city’s schools, noting an additional $200,000 transfer to school operating budgets.

It will also move allocated salaries from the stormwater fund to the general fund, substantially level transfers to the debt service fund for the next five years, and provide $2 million for capital and $1.5 million for equipment in fiscal 2020 and for the next five years.

Though it is riddled with several progressive changes, one thing on the budget remains the same: the property tax rate.

This will stay at $2.27 per $100 of assessed value. There will also be no change to utility rates or stormwater fees, the presentation noted.

Most of the operating budget’s expenditures are in utilities, at nearly $96.5 million. Schools expenditures will total over $61 million, general fund spending will total nearly $47.5 million and other governmental funds come to nearly $11 million.

All told, the city’s operating budget is now set at nearly $216 million.

Finally, Swift noted that since the city’s budget retreat in May, the water and sewer capital project budget had been reduced by $1.6 million because a large development project scheduled to take place in fiscal 2020 was set back to fiscal 2021.

The new budget will go into effect beginning July 1.

Andrew joined The Daily Times in 2019 and covers city government and breaking news.

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