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Staunton City Council to receive budget proposal from interim city manager

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Staunton City Council will get its first look at proposed budget for the 2023 fiscal year at its upcoming work session on Thursday at 5 p.m. in Rita S. Wilson Council Chambers in City Hall.

Interim City Manager Leslie Beauregard will present a summary of her recommendations for expenditure, alongside revenue projections for the fiscal year beginning July 1 and ending June 30, 2023.

City departments requested more than $1.3 million for new operational needs and new positions that, for the most part, are unfunded in the proposed budget; and Staunton City Schools, one of the city’s highest priorities and its largest expenditure, is requesting $1.69 million more from the city in FY2023, resulting in a funding gap of $624,113 between the school’s request and the city’s proposed local contribution of $1.073M.

The city and schools will be discussing this difference in more detail and are committed to working through this as conversations progress over the next month.

“While we are projecting healthy and not insignificant revenue increases in the coming fiscal year,” said Beauregard, “we’re also seeing higher than ever requests from outside agencies, our schools and city departments. We also have to address the recruitment and retention issues that every sector is facing, in order to provide the excellent city services that our community expects. We have to balance all of those needs.”

Keeping those challenges and the uncertainty of the economy in mind, the proposed budget will include priorities in the city’s strategic plan, the Staunton Plan, and address recruitment and retention issues in the city’s workforce through salary adjustments in various core service areas.

The proposed budget also recommends deferring expenditures for one-time requests that came from city departments, such as equipment, studies or vehicles, until conversations begin regarding American Rescue Plan Act funds, which will occur after budget adoption.

The budget process will continue during work sessions planned for every Thursday in April; a joint work session with the Staunton City School Board and public hearings, during which the community is invited to share its thoughts, will occur on April 14; and budget adoption is scheduled for April 28.

Additional information on the proposed budget, the budget schedule and previously adopted budgets can be found on the city’s website at www.staunton.va.us/budget.

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