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City of Franklin Releases Proposed Budget For Fiscal Year 2024-2025

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City of Franklin Releases Proposed Budget For Fiscal Year 2024-2025

Franklin, TN – Today, Franklin City Administrator Eric Stuckey released his recommended budget for fiscal year 2024-2025 (FY25). The following is an excerpt from Stuckey’s annual budget message to the Franklin Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

Recently, as a part of their ongoing strategic planning work, the Franklin Board of Mayor and Aldermen drafted a vision statement for our community:

America’s finest Hometown, driven by excellence, balancing preservation and progress.

This vision captures who Franklin is and aspires to be. As we build the budget each year, our goal is to meet community needs and support work that achieves the community’s aspirations to be best place in America to raise a family and build a business. Top ratings by publications such as Money magazine, Southern Living, USA Today, and Livability consistently place Franklin among the best places to live in America.  Strong investment and job growth also reflect Franklin’s remarkable economic vitality and competitive position. Our All-America City is honored to be the community so many are choosing as the place to invest, build a business, raise a family, spend a vacation, and, most of all, proudly call home.

Significant infrastructure investment designed to meet the demands of growth and to build upon the community’s quality of life continues through the City’s 10-year Capital Investment Plan (CIP) supported by the Invest Franklin initiative launched eight years ago. Recent highlights include the completion of the Water Reclamation Facility upgrade and expansion, Franklin Road improvements, and the beautifully restored Hayes Home at the Park at Harlinsdale Farm. Other important projects are moving forward including the development of a new City Hall (currently in final design), Bicentennial Park (under construction), development of the Southeast Park/Robinson Lake (bidding), and McEwen Drive improvements from Cool Springs to Wilson Pike (bidding later this year). These projects promise to have significant impact on our community as they add significantly to our quality of life. The Board is currently working diligently to update the 10-year CIP to best meet community needs now and in the future.

Despite our success, significant challenges remain. The City of Franklin continues to be bolstered by strong long-term financial plans and policies that provide vital financial capacity to meet both challenges and opportunities. Our best efforts will be required to meet the demands that lie ahead. The City must continue to deliver high-quality services, enhance existing infrastructure, and prepare for growth in terms of services, infrastructure, and community impact. The City of Franklin will craft a budget and action plan that is both fiscally prudent and consistent in maintaining our commitment to high-quality community service.

Budget Overview

The 2024-25 (FY25) General Fund budget is $112,252,391, which represents a decrease of 1.6% compared to the current $114,112,767 budget for 2023-24 (FY24). The FY25 budget for all funds is $226,904,237, which represents a decrease of 5.2% compared to FY24.

Highlights of the 2024-25 Budget

  • The budget is balanced and fully complies with the Board of Mayor and Aldermen’s debt and fund reserve policies.
  • The Invest Franklin dedicated funding for infrastructure/transportation investment and support of City operations remains in place. The City property tax rate remains unchanged at $0.3261 per $100 of assessed valuation. The City of Franklin has the lowest property tax rate of any city in Tennessee with a population over 50,000, and its rate is among the lowest of comparable cities nationally.
  • A pay increase for City team members will be effective the first pay period of July 2024.  The approved budget includes a general pay increase of 3% plus an additional performance-based pay increase of up to an additional 2.5%.
  • An updated longevity pay program will be implemented in FY25 providing employees with an annual payment based on their service time with the City of Franklin. These payments will be made to all employees in November of each year.
  • Significant pay adjustments to be implemented in late FY24 for Police and Fire are fully incorporated in the FY25 budget as the City reaches its target of being at or above the 90th percentile of pay in the market.
  • Health insurance premiums for City team members are unchanged for FY25.
  • The budget includes several new positions in the General Fund including a new internship program in Fire Department, a Flex Team Sergeant in Police, and a new Mobility Coordinator position in Engineering. An Information Technology Assistant Director position is restored in the budget. Three new Parks positions will be added in spring 2025 to support new/upgraded facilities. Several position reclassifications are implemented across the organization including in Streets, Parks, City Court, Water Management, and Building and Neighborhood Services.
  • An organizational realignment is included in the budget with the movement of the Human Resources Department into the Finance and Administration team and the Emergency Management Office into the Public Works team. A new Office of Budget and Performance will be established with existing staff. The Office of Revenue Management/City Court will also be formally established as a City department: the Billing and Licensing Department.
  • The FY25 budget includes an increase for residential trash and recycling collection (from $23/month to $31/month) making this operation fully self-sufficient (with no general fund subsidy). Consistent with our five-year utility rate plan, Water and Sewer rates will increase 3% and 2.5% respectively beginning January 1, 2025.
  • The budget incorporates performance measures and sustainability initiatives for every department. The connection to our Strategic Plan, FranklinForward, is clearly linked to performance measures and objectives throughout the budget.

Despite the challenges and uncertainty of recent years, the City is maintaining significant reserves to comply with BOMA policy and to protect against future economic downturns. The BOMA-adopted debt policy and fund reserve policy provide a needed framework for maintaining the City’s Triple-A bond rating by both Moody’s Investors Services and Standard & Poor’s. In recent years, the City’s Triple-A ratings from both rating agencies have been reaffirmed. Bond ratings generally reflect the overall financial strength of the governmental entity, the strength of overall management of the organization, and the health of the local economy. Franklin’s rating from two bond-rating agencies is the highest possible and places it in a select group of cities across the United States.

“Our reserves are at strong levels, our debt obligations are relatively low and manageable, and our tax rates are among the lowest in America,” stated Administrator Stuckey. “Sustained strong financial management and strategic investment will position the City of Franklin to succeed and thrive in the future as we strive to meet the Board’s vision to be, America’s finest hometown, driven by excellence, balancing preservation and progress.”

The City of Franklin has crafted a budget and action plan that is both fiscally prudent and consistent in maintaining our commitment to high-quality community service.”

Read more about the proposed budget and see it in its entirety.

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