Granby prioritizes downtown development, traffic calming in next year’s budget
With so much unpredictability surrounding 2021, Granby’s budget is planning for less revenue as it continues investing in long-term projects.
The Granby Board of Trustees approved the 2021 budget Tuesday. The budget plans for $13.8 million in revenue compared to $10.9 million in expenses.
The town will continue funding the downtown infill development incentive program and associated grants. Downtown parking and streetscape improvements is set to be a priority next year, along with the Agate Avenue traffic calming engineering. The budget also leaves room to continue investments in affordable housing and year-round transit.
With sales tax up 30% year to date and 2020 revenue expected to far exceed budgeted amounts, the board is budgeting conservatively and planning for a 5% decrease in revenue due to the economic uncertainty of the pandemic.
Even so, sales tax is expected to be the biggest source of revenue for the town next year at $4.7 million. Local fees, enterprise funds and other sources of revenue are forecasted to garner another $4.5 million.
Property taxes make up less than half a million dollars of projected revenue, while grants will total nearly $1 million. One major revenue source expected in the coming year is the sale of town-owned land on the former Shorefox property into a land trust, which could add nearly $3 million to town reserves.
Granby is planning to spend $1.5 million more next year compared to 2020. The biggest expenses for the town relate to water and sewer operations at $2.8 million. Public safety will cost the town $1.5 million, parks and trails will cost $1.2 million and general services will cost $1.5 million.
Other expenses include updating the town’s comprehensive plan from its 1985 version, along with spending for street paving, sidewalks, the town hall façade, drainage and park improvements. These capital projects are expected to cost just under $2 million.
Another $1.6 million will go toward streets, fleets and facilities. The town is planning to spend $349,500 out of the fleet enterprise fund to purchase a plow truck, bobcat, short bus for the recreation department and a police vehicle.
Granby will also be adding an administrative assistant to public safety, bringing the town’s number of full time employees up to 37.
One expense the town does not have to worry about is that of lease and debt payments. Granby is debt free, except for a few office equipment leases and two Enterprise Fund loans.
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