The city of Claremore is moving into 2020 with an $87 million budget.
The proposed fiscal year 2020 budget was reviewed by both the city finance committee and Claremore City Council and, after a public hearing on May 20, is subject to approval.
City Manager Jim Thomas said the budget is balanced and supports the long-term strategic goals outlined in the Claremore Dreams 2025 initiative.
“The fiscal year 2020 budget required difficult choices and decisions but is sound in its fiscal purpose and is balanced as to revenue projections and expenditures to provide the kind of quality services our Claremore residents and business community have come to expect,” Thomas said.
This budget represents the third year the city is not recommending any new fee increases.
In the finer points of the city's proposed budget, Thomas said the city was fortunate enough to have no cost increases in their health insurance plan for neither employer or employee. The budget does include a 2 percent salary increase for all non-union city employees.
“The city is managing its debt well,” he continued. “Fiscal year 2020 we have a total debt of almost $45 million and we retire that with an annual payment of $4.5 million. We are using fund balance reserves to pay for capital infrastructure needs as we determine these needs exist.”
Of the remaining debt, Thomas said $3.7 million is being carried over from the current fiscal year, 2019.
Thomas concluded his budget presentation by talking about the future, the vision, of the city.
“I personally sense there is a passion in our city from Rogers State University to our industrial manufacturing partners, from our public schools to our city employees, from our county commissioners to the Cherokee Nation. We are committed to Claremore. We are excited about our future and our future is bright,” Thomas said. “Claremore Dreams 2025 was about us. Its plans were not cobbled together by a few insiders, but a community wide engagement listening. The community spoke, and we listened.”