Middletown City Council members received a homework assignment of sorts at its Tuesday meeting from City Manager Doug Adkins.
Adkins asked council to prioritize 10 community needs as high, medium or low spending priority for discretionary dollars.
“Unless the bottom drops out, we will have discretionary income next year on something,” Adkins told council.
The 10 areas include:
- Downtown plan implementation
- Deferred city maintenance
- Improved transportation
- Recreation/health/quality of life
- City beautification
- Economic development/workforce development
- Additional public safety
- Housing stock/neighborhoods
- City marketing
Adkins said the input will give him a rough idea of what council would like see in the 2018 budget and where that money would like to go when city staff begins the 2018 budget process.
Adkins had hoped to get some input at the meeting, but Mayor Larry Mulligan wanted to think about it over the next few days.
“I don’t want to be overly scientific, but I’d like to give this a little bit of thought rather than just zip through it too quickly because they’re all tough choices… you have public safety, paving, quality of life things on here” Mulligan said.
Council is to forward their input to Adkins by Friday.
Adkins said he did not know how much discretionary income might be available for 2018.
“If I can understand council’s priorities, I can look at the different funds and try to lay them out consistently with council’s priorities,” he said.
Adkins said the city’s property tax revenues have been flat and that the increase in revenues are from income tax.
He said the goal is to have extra revenues going into 2019 and beyond.
For the past few months, Adkins has been working with city staff on a housing plan for Middletown. He has been making presentations to the community on the need to improve the city’s housing stock and property values as a way to expand the tax base that would generate additional revenues for various improvements.