Town News

Special Work Session, September 21, 2020 – Budget Discussion for 2021

In a special meeting of the Town Council, Town staff presented the 2021 budget draft for Council discussion during a six-hour work session. This year, due to the economic impacts of COVID-19 and the uncertainty involved moving forward, staff introduced the budget with essential expenditure requests only, and provided any non-essential expenditures or capital projects separately for Council to add at their discretion in accordance with Council’s strategic goals and priorities.

During the discussion, Council noted the sound fiscal condition of the Town due to healthy reserves, savings because of conservative spending, and stronger than expected revenue. Council indicated that they were able to continue to invest in the community due to these factors, and while not every project could be funded in 2021, there were still resources available to direct staff to go forward with projects that would support Frisco’s strategic goals and quality of life.  

The first reading of the budget ordinances will be considered by Town Council during the October 13 Town Council meeting.  

2020 Snapshot

  • Town Council took immediate steps in 2020 to boost Frisco’s local businesses and assist residents, including a business grant program, a residential rental assistance program, a Main Street Promenade plan, a shop local program, and mask/sanitizer supply business giveaways. Council also directed staff to tighten budgets by leaving vacant positions unfilled and deferring all but essential capital projects.
  • Additionally, the Town entered 2020 with fund balances substantially higher ($4.6 million more) than originally budgeted.
  • Declines in Town of Frisco revenue collections for 2020 are not as severe as originally projected.
  • Even though all of these factors positioned the Town to enter 2021 in solid financial condition with a 2020 projected ending fund balance of $32 million, it is important to note the key factors for this stability are the $4.7 million transfer from the Capital Improvement Fund into the General Fund and the excess fund balances of $1.6M from 2019.

2021 Discussion

Staff closely monitors economic indicators during the year, and the 2021 budget reflects the current uncertainty by proposing a conservative approach while recognizing the need to invest in the community by taking advantage of opportunities for development and maintenance of the Town’s assets and to preserve quality of life for Frisco citizens.

  • The total ending fund balances for all funds in the 2021 equals $38M.
  • Council decided to increase the required reserve of $7 million in the General Fund by $2 million to establish a budget stabilization reserve which would only be used if and when specific circumstances arise that Council designates for this reserve.

Each department presented council with summaries of adaptations due to COVID-19, completed projects, budget cuts, and discretionary budget requests for Council’s consideration.

Council delayed adding items to the budget that they did not consider essential or a priority, with the assumption that the budget will be revisited in April 2021 based on economic conditions.

In the 2021 budget, Council prioritized infrastructure, e.g. fiber optics, road and water system maintenance, workforce housing, etc…, going into 2021, as well as investment into recreational opportunities as vital to quality of life in Frisco and also important to the Frisco’s economic health.

The packet for this meeting shows a detailed list of projects that were considered but not necessarily approved.The final proposed budget will be available for review when the October 13, 2020 Town Council packet is released on October 9, and as usual, there will be time available during the budget ordinance discussion on October 13 for public comment.