The Johnston City Council unanimously approved the City’s budget for Fiscal Year 2019 on Monday, March 5, 2018. The budget adopted will keep Johnston fiscally sound, while ensuring the Mayor and City Council’s priorities are met. The new budget will go into effect July 1, 2018.
The FY 2019 budget for Johnston is comprised of expenditures totaling nearly $54.7 million; including basic operating expenditures of $15.9 million, special revenue expenditures $2.4 million, Tax Increment Financing expenditures $5.6 million, dept service expenditures $8.6 million, capital improvement expenditures $8.6 million, and proprietary expenditures $13.4 million.
The $54.7 million budget increases the property tax rate slightly from $11.39 to $11.52 per $1,000 of taxable assessed value. The $0.13 increase is necessary due to the community’s growth and the state established property tax rollback. Due to the state assessed property tax rollback, residential property owners pay taxes based on 56.94 percent of their assessed property value. The general fund levy for Johnston is $7.91 per $1,000 valuation of assessed value – remaining the fourth lowest in Polk County, $0.19 cents below the legal cap of $8.10.
“Over the last 10 years, Johnston has seen a population increase of 50.49 percent,” said City Administrator Jim Sanders. “As our community continues grow, so does the demand for city services. Elected officials prioritize projects each year based on the needs of the community. Our financial position continues to remain strong and it is important we maintain a steady tax rate, while ensuring the needs of the community are met each year.”
Key Capital Improvement Projects in the FY 2019 Budget Include:
Road and Trail Projects
- Continuation of public improvements east of Merle Hay Road including completion of improvements along NW 57th Avenue and construction of improvements on NW 54th Court
- Preliminary design for continuation of NW Beaver Drive overlay and trail construction. From Merle Hay Road to NW 66th Avenue intersection
- Preliminary engineering for public improvements east of Merle Hay Road, north of NW 62nd Avenue
- Preliminary engineering of roadway improvements including trail and sidewalk along NW 62nd Avenue and from Merle Hay Road to NW Beaver Drive, and intersection improvements at NW 62nd Avenue and Merle Hay Road
- Preliminary engineering of asphalt overlay on NW 54th Avenue between NW 86th Street to NW 100th Street
- Phase 2 and 3 reconstruction of NW 70th Avenue into a four-lane urban roadway
- Preliminary engineering of recreational trail along Pioneer Parkway
- Trail construction from NW 48th Street to NW Beaver Drive, north of the Public Works building
- Construction of additional bays at the Park maintenance building and Public Works shop
- NW Beaver Drive Booster Station improvements
- SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) conversion to fiber
- Planning for NW Beaver Drive transmission water main construction at NW 62nd Avenue and from NW Beaver Drive to NW 54th Avenue
- Park improvements in Greenwood Hills
- Water trail developments along Beaver Creek
- Complete master plan for Lew Clarkson Park
- Dewey Park restroom replacement
- Installation of playground at Ray Schleihs Park
Water Quality Improvements
- Preliminary Engineering of the Orchard Meadows – Ridge Crest Drive stormwater improvements
- Preliminary engineering for Northglenn stream improvements east of Merle Hay Road
- Trace Court stormwater outlet improvements
The City of Johnston currently has 104 full-time staff positions. A new position will be added in January 2019 – a full-time civilian supporting the Community Service Officer within the Police Department. This position will provide assistance and expertise to supplement the needs of the police department’s patrol force allowing for efficiencies as well as more effective use of limited sworn staff. Tasks currently being performed by a sworn police officer will be reallocated to a highly trained civilian counterpart. Some examples of the services this new position will provide are: animal control, parking enforcement, roadside assistance, vehicle unlocks, traffic control, Vacation House Watch inspections, crime prevention program assistance, equipment maintenance and filing lost/found property reports.
The FY 19 Budget also includes utility rate increases which had been previously approved by the City Council. Each Johnston household will see an average monthly bill increase of $5.35. The increase was deemed necessary following a fiscal analysis of each enterprise fund to account for system and operational costs resulting from the continued growth of the community.
For each dollar paid on property taxes, the City receives approximately $0.27. There are eight other entities collecting revenue from property taxes paid by Johnston residents including:
- Johnston Community School District – 44%
- City of Johnston – 27%
- Polk County – 18%
- Other 11% – (Broadlawns Medical Center, DART, DMACC, Polk County Accessor, Polk County Ag Extension and State of Iowa)
More information about the City’s FY 2019 budget can be found here.