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A newly adopted budget for a new fiscal year

Photo of Town Manager Mary Jacobs

July 1 marks the beginning of the fiscal year for the Town of Oro Valley and local governments across Arizona. Preparing for this annual reset is a deliberative process that lasts more than six months and culminates with adoption of the annual budget by your Town Council. The FY 2019-20 adopted budget totals just over $111 million and supports the quality services and amenities that residents have come to expect, ensuring the continuation of our outstanding quality of life here in Oro Valley.

June 19, 2019

I like to think of the Town’s budget and municipal operations as a pyramid. At the very top of the pyramid are the citizens of Oro Valley. You have expressed your priorities and expectations by the voter-approved, ten-year, Your Voice, Our Future General Plan. Second on the pyramid are your Mayor and Councilmembers, whom you elected to take those expectations and prioritize them into specific objectives. Council has laid out those priorities in its two-year Strategic Leadership Plan, which serves as an important guide in this process. The third layer of the pyramid is the Town’s leadership team. They are charged with developing a work plan and budget plan that successfully guides the capital, operational and staff investments needed to meet the expectations and objectives set by citizens and Council. Finally, the largest part of the pyramid is the base, where the plans are executed and the work of the Town is accomplished. Water is delivered. Permits are issued. Roads and parks are maintained. Neighborhoods are patrolled. The list goes on. It all starts at the top with you—our citizens—and comes to fruition when your municipal government employees provide the programs and services you value.

One of the services that continues to be a top priority for both residents and businesses in Oro Valley is public safety. The FY 2019-20 adopted budget includes the addition of four new police officers to ensure the Oro Valley Police Department maintains its high level of service to the community. In addition, OVPD will cut the ribbon next month on its long-awaited evidence facility and substation on Magee Road. This new facility will allow the department to more efficiently store and process materials collected from investigations and crime scenes. It will also provide a visible police presence in the southern portion of town. The budget includes not only the resources needed to operate the new facility, but also the funds to renovate the vacated space in the main station so it can be better utilized for our officers.

Another top priority for our residents is quality roads. Over the past several decades, Oro Valley has consistently invested in the repair and maintenance our streets and roads, and it shows! Residents, motorists and cyclists continue to express appreciation for having the best roads in the region, and this year’s budget will continue that long-standing tradition of investing in our transportation infrastructure. The budget includes $1.45 million to supplement the $3.7 million in gas tax revenues Oro Valley receives from the State for road maintenance. There is another $12 million in the budget for the next phase of the La Cholla Boulevard widening project, with $10.3 million coming from the Regional Transportation Authority, and the balance from roadway impact fee funds. Residents can also expect to see intersection improvements at La Cañada Drive and Moore Road with the construction of a roundabout for $1 million.

Parks and recreation programs and amenities are enjoyed by residents of all ages, and the community can look forward to some additional investments in this area as well. Steam Pump Ranch will see additional landscaping and other exterior improvements as well as a new shade covering to enhance special events and programming opportunities. Parks maintenance staff will focus on improving grass, updating water fountains, replacing exercise stations, and refreshing the paint at various Town facilities. The budget also includes resources to add more parking, drainage improvements and a new playground at Naranja Park. In addition, the Town will be conducting a comprehensive parks and recreation needs assessment in the coming year with the goal identifying areas of need and the types of amenities our community wants. That information will be utilized to update the master plans for each of the Town’s major parks to help inform future investments. The budget also includes the resources necessary to operate all 45 holes of golf during the fiscal year while Town Council works toward a final determination on future plans for this operation.

With a $111 million budget, I could not adequately describe in this short article the work efforts that go into the delivery of the Town’s programs and services; however, I do want to highlight a few more items we have planned for the new fiscal year. The Town will continue its partnerships with Visit Tucson, the Greater Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Oro Valley Children’s Museum. These and other partnerships are instrumental to the health of our local economy, as we work together for the strength of our business community, tourism industry and cultural offerings. Together with other related investments such as developing a new Town website, expanding our marketing reach for economic development, and conducting an external retail analysis to help the Town attract future retailers and restaurants, the Town is poised to broaden its reach in getting visitors and businesses to consider Oro Valley for new spending or investments.

We are also investing in administrative work efforts to ensure an effective and efficient government. This includes, among many things, the replacement of aging computers and servers, improving facility safety features and broadening the Town’s internal OV Peak Performance process improvement initiative. Our plans also include the implementation of new web-based technologies to make the Town’s financial information more accessible, and to increase opportunities for citizen engagement.

The Town of Oro Valley’s FY 2019-20 adopted budget represents a responsible, cohesive document that aligns with the expectations of our residents, and the priorities of our Town Council. We look forward to once again delivering quality programs and services to you in the new fiscal year.

For a user-friendly overview of the budget, be sure to check out the “Know Your Town’s Budget” document, which gives residents a broader picture of where their tax dollars are being invested. You can find it on the Town’s website at www.orovalleyaz.gov. Just click on the “FY 2019-20 BUDGET” button located under the main banner. 

By Mary Jacobs, Oro Valley Town Manager - Explorer Newspaper, 6/19/19

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