The next meeting of City Council will be held on Thursday, May 3, instead of the first Tuesday of the month as normal. The change in dates is due to the Tuesday, May 1, local elections, which include City Council and the School Board.
Council's meeting will begin with a special work session at 5:30 p.m. to continue the process to developing a budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1 and continues through June 30, 2019.
The regular business session will begin at 7 p.m., followed by a second work session. Budget discussions will continue in the second work session.
The business session will be held in the Council Chambers on the fourth floor of the Municipal Building, which is located at 427 Patton Street. Both work sessions will be held on the same floor, but across the hall in the Council Conference Room.
River City TV, the city’s government access channel, will air the business session. Watch it live on cable (Comcast channel 10 and Gamewood channel 122) or streaming on the River City TV Facebook page.
River City TV does not air work sessions, but they are open to the public.
In March, City Manager Ken Larking submitted to City Council a proposed budget that maintains basic city services and programs, addresses budget challenges, and invests additional money in crime reduction initiatives, public schools and projects designed to grow Danville.
To help pay for these costs, Larking is proposing a one percentage-point increase in the meals tax from 6 percent to 7 percent. A one percentage-point increase in the meals tax would increase a $25 restaurant bill by 25 cents.
Larking also is proposing fee increases for airport hangar rentals and building inspections. In addition, fee adjustments are proposed to accommodate the acceptance of credit cards for payment.
No changes are proposed in the real estate and personal property tax rates. In addition, no changes are proposed in base rates for utilities.
The proposed budget, at $290.5 million, is 1.3 percent more than the current budget.
Public hearings will be held prior to adoption of the budget.
In addition to the budget process, the City of Danville is in the process of developing a multi-year financial forecasting model with the help of the National Resource Network, which is a federally funded consortium of urban experts from private, nonprofit and academic sectors.
The model, once in place, will be used to guide City Council in making strategic decisions that will put the city on a sustainable fiscal path.
A preliminary report with a baseline projection shows Danville has a structural budget deficit that is going to worsen over the next five years unless changes are made. The National Resource Network will provide options for long term savings and revenue enhancements.
Larking said last month that many of those solutions will take time to implement and may not have an immediate impact on this year’s budget, but will impact future budgets.