Mayor David Martin announced today the City of Stamford’s 2018-2019 fiscal year ended with a $14.3 million surplus*, primarily as a result of increased development fees and efficiency in City operations. This surplus will provide additional investment into Stamford’s road paving projects for the coming year, as well as help fund some of the City’s long-term unfunded liabilities.
“This surplus will be invested back into the community for vital infrastructure projects, road paving, and paying down long-term unfunded liabilities,” said Mayor David Martin. “This administration’s commitment to optimizing city operations and reducing costs are paying off.”
A municipality generates a surplus when revenues (money collected) exceed expenditures (money spent). Stamford primarily receives revenue through property taxes. Stamford receives additional revenue from other sources that can fluctuate from year to year. Cities are prohibited by law from running a deficit.
For fiscal year 18-19 the City of Stamford received more revenue than anticipated from development fees, state aid, and investments. The City’s development fee revenue saw a positive variance of $11.5 million (111.8% more than originally anticipated). The City’s increased revenue in development fees can be attributed to Stamford’s growing economy as more businesses and residents are attracted to the City. The City’s state aid saw a positive variance of $2.6 million (17.7% more than originally anticipated). Historically, Stamford has not received all the state aid that was anticipated. This year’s fiscal budget anticipated state aid revenue more conservatively to protect from overspending, but Stamford received the full state aid amount. The City’s investments revenue saw a positive variance of $1.3 million — affected by change in interest rates and market values (127.9% more than originally anticipated); as well as $300k in property taxes (0.1% more than originally anticipated), and $200k in other sources (14.2% more than originally anticipated).
The second major factor for this year’s City’s surplus is significant savings in City operations. For fiscal year 18-19, the City saw a positive variance of $2.6 million in Public Safety’s budget (2.1% less than originally budgeted), $500k in Health & Welfare’s budget (5.8% less than originally budgeted), $600k in Operations’ budget (1.4% less than originally budgeted), and $1.8 million in other city expenditures (1.2% less than originally budgeted). These variances are a combination of streamlined services and conservative staffing in departments.
Some operational expenses were higher than originally budgeted, including $700k for the recycling haul away contract and $300k in additional expenses for leaf collection, $1.5 million for Board of Education expenditures, and $8.8 million in Mold Task Force/Asset Management Group expenditures.
In addition to strengthening the City’s Rainy Day Fund — and offsetting a pattern of prior unfunded liabilities — the City is planning a significant portion of the $14.3 million surplus to be devoted to road paving projects next year. The following are a list of some of the major roads that will be added as candidates for the City’s paving plans for 2020:
- Wire Mill Road
- Cedar Heights Road
- Shippan Avenue
- Hillandale Avenue
- Colonial Road
- Greyrock Place
- Atlantic Street
- Selleck Street
- Turn of River Road
- Eden Road