By City of Sedona Mayor Rob Adams
September 26, 2012
As some of you may remember, I delivered the first annual State of the City Address in June of 2011. This address focused on a recap of some of the highlights of 2010 and some thoughts regarding the future of our City. I have changed the date of the address to September 27 this year, as I will have the results of the fiscal year-end report. This year, the address will cover significant budgetary and capital achievements during my first two terms in office. This City Talk column contains abbreviated highlights of the address.
During my first two terms as Mayor, we were challenged with the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression. Beginning in the fall of 2008, the City Council and staff developed and implemented a strategy to reduce city expenditures by approximately 30% over an 18 month time frame. By the end of fiscal year 2008/2009, the City had to utilize approximately $800,000 in reserves to balance the fiscal year. In fiscal year 2009/2010, we achieved a $1.6 million surplus. In fiscal year 2010/2011, we had a $1.2 million surplus, and in fiscal year 2011/2012, we are projecting a $580,000 surplus.
Regarding our present debt, the City owes approximately $55 million between the general fund and enterprise fund obligations. The positive news is that we have approximately $41.3 million in our reserve funds. The General Fund reserve is $12.7 million, the Capital Fund reserve is $11.7 million, and the Enterprise Fund reserve is $16.9 million.
Tax collections have been relatively flat for the 2011/2012 fiscal year. Overall expenditures through June 2012 are cumulatively below the target by approximately 12.5%. State shared revenue is anticipated to increase in fiscal year 2012/2013.
To get a sense of the health of our business community, the Chamber of Commerce created a trend analysis of membership during the last three years. In 2010, 70 new members joined the Chamber and 44 members closed their doors. In 2011, 42 new members joined the Chamber and 23 closed their doors. To date in 2012, 16 members have closed their doors and the Chamber has increased their membership by 83 businesses!
CAPITAL AND WASTEWATER PROJECTS
The health, safety and welfare of our citizens are the primary responsibility of the city government. To that effect, a majority of city expenditures are designated for city services, street maintenance, storm water management sewer, police protection and sewer construction and maintenance. A sample of significant capital and wastewater projects that have been accomplished in the last four years are as follows:
- The City contributed $2.9 million to the State Route 179 project, resulting in undergrounding and reconstruction of major utilities as well as providing landscaping, lighting and enhanced pedestrian and bicycle safety.
- The City has installed 2,500 lineal feet of sidewalks and has resurfaced 9.5 miles of city streets.
- Five miles of State Route 89A has been resurfaced. A new pedestrian crosswalk has been installed at Andante Drive. The entire west Sedona corridor has been upgraded with handicap ramps, roadway lighting and bicycle lanes.
- Handicap ramps have been installed on many city streets and more than 10 miles of bicycle lanes have been created.
- Since 2009, the City has spent approximately $7.5 million upgrading major wastewater pump stations, $1.8 million on upgrades to the wastewater plant and $1.1 million on installing a UV system to upgrade the quality of our effluent to an A+ quality.
- Sewer service was installed in the Chapel residential area at a cost of $7.5 million and the Chapel area drainage system was completed at a cost of $2,056,000.
- A total of $5,054,000 has been spent on storm water management in the last four years. An additional $2.9 million is programmed to be spent on storm water management during fiscal year 2012/2013.
COMMUNITY BUILDING AND ENHANCEMENT PROJECTS
Significant achievements have been made in improving the quality of life for our citizens in the last four years.
- Recently, the City completed the development of the constructed wetlands at the wastewater plant. This project will not only help us dispose of our treated effluent, but will also be utilized as a bird habitat and a new public park.
- City tennis courts and basketball courts have been resurfaced. All ball fields have been replanted and upgraded
- The community swimming pool was rebuilt.
- A new BMX bicycle upgrade is being completed at the Sedona Skate Park.
- Recreation programming at city parks has increased to 13 events per year. Some of the more popular events are the new July 4th Laser show, the Celebration of Spring and the award-winning Pumpkin Splash.
- The YMCA is now managing the Sedona Teen Center.
- The Sedona Community Center was awarded a grant to expand their kitchen.
- Grants totaling $470,000 have been awarded to renovate low income housing.
Many other notable achievements in the areas of the arts, sustainability, public outreach, and governmental transparency and accountability will be mentioned in the State of the City Address. This presentation will be live streamed on the City website at www.SedonaAZ.gov and aired live on the City’s cable Channel 4 beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 27. The video will also be archived on the City website under the Specialty tab for later viewing.