guest view:

Major Ralph McGill

At the end of June, the Town of Farragut approved its FY2018 budget. It may not be the most glamorous part of what your government does, but it is the most important. The annual budget is both an indicator of the health of our town and a framework for what we’d like to be in the future.

The news is good on both fronts. The proposed General Fund budget for FY2018, which begins this month, is $10,568,820. That’s over five percent higher than the expected revenue of FY2017, and it’s in spite of a 17 percent reduction in Hall Tax revenue. The Town continues to see modest increases in sales tax revenues. In the coming fiscal year, revenues from sales tax should reach $6,000,000 — a 6.2 percent increase over the past fiscal year. Overall, the General Fund budget anticipates spending $3.57 million less than it takes in, which will allow us to add $2.09 million to our reserve fund, leaving an available balance of $9.87 million at the end of FY2018. A healthy revenue stream allows us to maintain and improve Town resources.

Over $4.8 million is budgeted for Capital Improvement Program (CIP) projects this year, including these enhancements to roads, parks and the greenway system:

• Smith Road greenway - $150,000

• Campbell Station Inn site improvements - $2,000,000

• McFee Park expansion design - $350,000

• Mayor Bob Leonard Park improvements - $320,000

• Union Road improvements - $500,000

• Virtue Road improvements - $425,000

The budget also includes $983,000 in State Street Aid Fund expenditures. This fund is primarily used for resurfacing. Farragut residents should be proud that the Town is fiscally strong. But to stay strong, we need to continue to grow. That means supporting local businesses to strengthen our tax base and participating in decisions about how and where Farragut should develop. Let’s not rest on our laurels. Let’s keep moving forward. The Town of Farragut: Live Closer. Go Further.