Rockford Outlook

From the City of Rockford

October 13, 2011 // 0 Comments

by ROCKFORD CITY MANAGER MICHAEL YOUNG Financial Outlook Over the past several years, the City Council has implemented numerous cost cutting measures to ensure that the City of Rockford budget is maintained within our budget constraints. One of the many cuts that were made included the elimination of the publication of the Rockford Outlook Newsletter. As an alternative, Council has asked that I coordinate periodic articles in the Rockford Squire to update the community on all that is the City of Rockford. The following information will represent the first installment of the Rockford Outlook in the Squire Newspaper. As mentioned above, the City Council has implemented many cost cutting measures over the last several years to ensure that our budget is balanced. We have cut staff by 25% and have reorganized virtually every department to ensure that we are working within our budget framework. On July 1st of this year, the City’s new fiscal year began and I am very pleased to announce we are working on a balanced budget, which maintains expenditures in check with revenues. This, quite frankly is a significant task in that we have seen major reductions in State shared revenue, property tax revenue, and investment income while many expenditures continue to increase. We have put together a multi-year budget strategy, which will ensure that the City’s fiscal position remains strong. One indicator of our strong position is the recent review of the City’s bond rating. Two (2) years ago, we received an upgrade in our bond rating to AA, which was recently confirmed by Standard and Poors. As we look to the future, our main focus will be preservation and enhancements to our public infrastructure including water, sewer and streets and an eye towards maintaining quality services that our residents have grown accustomed to. Our forecast is that property values will continue to decline for at least the next year at a rate of around 4%. Even with this news, we have developed a budget framework that will take us to 2013. Our budget projections will be updated as we work through the new budget process in February of next year. The new budget maintained the City’s millage rate at 10.9 mils, one of the lowest in the County for cities and […]