The $87 million budget for Claremore's upcoming fiscal year was approved this week.
City Manager Jim Thomas said the part of this budget that excites him the most is the investment in roads, water and sewer infrastructure that will pay off in a big way down the line.
He said this budget includes a $3.7 million rollover from fiscal year 2019 to fiscal year 2020.
Sales tax collection in the 2018/2019 year totaled $10,632,537, which was an increase of over $470,000. Use tax for 2018/2019 hit $1,058,271.
Thomas said he was thrilled to see the increase in sales tax revenue and credits it to continuing retail development in Claremore and continuing to encourage local shopping.
When asked about the biggest differences in this budget compared to the prior year's budget, Thomas said: "Body cams for police is a big change, and dash cams, which will allow us to see interactions with the public. We're buying a new fire engine, and paying cash. And we're investing in the Expo Center building. It's about 20 years old and we've budgeted almost $1 million in improvements."
The budget includes a two percent wage increase for all non-union city staff members.
In his presentation of the budget, Thomas provided a breakdown of wages by department: with fire department wages accounting for the biggest piece of the pie at $4,631,023.
Neither city nor employee medical costs were increased this year, which was noted in the budget presentation.
He noted general fund revenues projected at $15,617,832 and general fund expenses as the same.
The park department budget, totaled at $1,868,065, includes park facility improvements, equipment and vehicle purchases and capital expenditures that include splash pad parking, a boathouse and rustic timber bathrooms and shelter at Claremore Lake.
The portion of the budget allocated to public safety was divided into $5,883,917 for police and $6,304,354 for fire.
The total budget for the street department is $6,318,494. This accounts for replacing the metal exterior of the building, equipment purchases and infrastructure projects that include sidewalks, traffic signals, Lowry bridge, road design and property acquisition.
The Expo Center was allocated just over $2.4 million while the Rec Center was budgeted at $1.4 million.
Within the Public Works department, Sanitation was budgeted $1.7 million, which includes a $340,000 vehicle purchase, and the electric budget was approved at $3.1 million.
The water/sewer budget is $7.6 million.