Gila County Adopts Final Fiscal Year 16-17 Budget
At a special meeting on July 26, 2016, the Gila County Board of Supervisors adopted a fiscal year (FY) 2016-2017 budget that holds the tax rate level for the seventh consecutive year. Faced with the ongoing challenges of a recovering economy and uncertainty of historical federal revenues, the board is proud to have been able to keep the tax rate at $4.19. The newly adopted budget also reflects a primary property tax levy that is nearly $10 million less than the maximum allowable tax levy.
The FY 16-17 budget includes the creation of an integrated five-year capital expenditure plan that will focus spending on critical infrastructure and facilities improvements throughout Gila County. Plans for this fiscal year’s $7.4 million total capital budget include significant site improvements to the Payson County Complex, facilitating the establishment of a dedicated Superior Court facility, which will improve the safety and security of both the staff and general public. Also part of the FY 16-17 capital budget, residents will see improvements to Baker Ranch Road in Young and sidewalk improvements in Six Shooter Canyon in Globe and Central Heights, among other projects.
Vice-Chairman and District I Supervisor Tommie Cline Martin is thankful to see infrastructure being addressed county-wide. “Northern Gila County constituents should see marked improvements in County facilities locally. This budget begins to address the safety issues associated with the outdated facilities and improves both access and security,” says Supervisor Martin. Martin is pleased that the budget maintains existing funding to community agencies, natural resources, and community colleges.
Chairman of the Board and District II Supervisor Michael A. Pastor says, “This budget is sustainable and structurally balanced. It funds a strong criminal justice system and maintains prudent reserves, while continuing the County’s pledge to provide quality services to its residents.” The adopted budget includes provisions for the County’s continuing commitment to increased security for the benefit of the public and its employees. Over 64% of the County’s general fund budget is dedicated to criminal justice, which includes, the Sheriff and Constables; Superior and Justice Courts; County attorney; and Adult and Juvenile Probation.
District III Supervisor John D. Marcanti says that the budget was developed to be conservative and provide for the needs of departments while absorbing the mandated increases in the various public sector retirement plans. He points out, “This budget makes it possible for County departments to improve their service to constituents. Support for software and new applications will help upgrade the technology backbone of Gila County.” The board credits elected officials and department heads for their ongoing cooperation and willingness to practice prudent management and spending.
As part of this year’s budget process, the County hosted two budget forums, one in Globe and one in Payson. Held between the adoption of the tentative and final budgets, the forums provided greater transparency and gave residents an opportunity to ask questions and voice their concerns.
photo: District One Supervisor Tommie Cline Martin; Santa Cruz County Supervisor and Arizona Association of Counties President Manny Ruiz.