Huntsville Facing $11 Million Infrastructure Funding Deficit
Huntsville’s Town Council was told they are facing funding deficit of $11,028,600 between what is required to annual maintain existing infrastructure and what is being levied for capital.
Under the Town of Huntsville’s Capital Asset Management Plan, which began in 2019, it is recommended that an annual capital levy increase of $646,000 be implemented beginning in 2022.
This is up from the $475,000 annual levy increase that was part of the 2020 and 2021 tax supported budget.
Mayor Karin Terziano wondered about 20 years from now, when the incremental increases would put funding the Capital Asset Management Plan at around $17 million, compared to what the total levy is right now.
“If we actually think we can get to that, we’ll have to start thinking about how many assets we can really afford to own because at some point, maybe, our tax base can’t support a $30 million levy. But, that’s exactly what we’d be working towards to achieve this number.”
Director of finance Julia McKenzie says this could be solved by more homes being built on roads where none currently exist.
McKenzie says, “Those new homes will help support the tax base. That’s the one good thing about Huntsville right now is we have lots of infrastructure that isn’t at full capacity.”
Next year, the Town will need to replace over $900,000 worth of fleet equipment, including snow removal vehicles, and almost $1 million on parks and trails projects – with the $312,000 pickleball courts representing the biggest percentage of this spending. Other expenditures include $4.5 million on roads capital projects.
Councillor Brian Thompson asked about the 20-year asset management plan (AMP) closing the gap and what the plans will be once the gap is closed.
Staff explains that it’s a fluid plan that began in 2019, and that updates will occur annually. “The AMP financial strategies will fluctuate over the years as we add more assets. There are several new assets being added in 2022, that weren’t considered in 2019 with the plan was made.”
The draft capital plan budget will be further discussed during upcoming 2022 budget discussions.