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Posted on Dec 11, 2019

Quincy’s budget adds staff and projects

The city of Quincy’s 2020 preliminary budget will grow a bit to pay for new employees and large infrastructure projects.
The city of Quincy’s budget is increasing from about $85.1 million in expenditures in 2019 to $85.7 million in 2020, according to a preliminary budget document. The Quincy city council has not approved the budget for next year. City council members voted Dec. 3 to continue the budget discussion to the next meeting, due to three council members not being present.
The city budget continues to remain healthy, Quincy City Administrator Pat Haley said. Property tax revenues are projected to increase by about $200,000 and the amount of sales tax the city collected in 2019, about $3 million, was triple what the city projected it would receive, about $1 million.
“Ten years ago they were trying to figure out where they were going to get money to replace the nets on the basketball court,” Haley said. “They don’t have that problem now.”
The $85.7 million number does not give a clear picture of the city’s budget, he said. It includes about $18.2 million in revenue bonds that is being paid by businesses, such as the data centers, for infrastructure.
“A revenue bond is a pass through, which means we borrow the money and someone else is guaranteed to pay it,” he said.
It also includes some funds that are being transferred between accounts, said Nancy Schanze, Quincy finance officer.
Instead, the city’s operating budget for 2020 will be about $21.1 million and its capital budget will be $1.2 million, Schanze said. The operating budget is how much it costs to run the city, including labor, and the capital budget is for projects the city plans to do that year.
In 2019, the city’s operating budget was about $18.6 million and its capital budget was $1.4 million, according to city of Quincy documents. In 2018, the operating budget was about $16.5 million and the capital budget was $625,000.
The city is planning to do quite a few street projects in 2020, fix some water mains and work on an irrigation canal, Schanze said. It has also added additional staff, such as three new public works utility workers.
“Parks are growing, with parks requires more manpower,” Schanze said. “New buildings have gone up, with new buildings require more manpower.”
One of the highlights of the 2020 preliminary budget is $9 million set aside for a potential recreation center, Haley said. The city does not have plans to spend that money in 2020, but Mayor Paul Worley wanted it budgeted to get the ball rolling.

By Tony Buhr