By Ethan McSweeney
Anticipated costs for the State Route 347 overpass drives much of the increases in the city of Maricopa’s $142 million budget for the 2017 fiscal year.
The budget, which the Maricopa City Council approved at its meeting on June 21, is $30 million higher than last year’s budget of $112 million. The city expects to spend about $15 million for its share of the design and construction of the overpass project.
The city isn’t sure when that money will need to be paid to the Arizona Department of Transportation, which is in charge of the overpass project, but it will be budgeting to pay for it in the upcoming fiscal year, said Brenda Hasler, Maricopa’s financial services director.
The SR 347 overpass, which will span the Union Pacific Railroad that cuts through Maricopa, is expected to have design completed by 2017, according to ADOT. Construction is scheduled to last from late 2017 through late 2019.
The overpass was included in the Department of Transportation’s Five-Year Transportation Facilities Construction Program that the State Transportation Board approved earlier this month. Inclusion in the Five-Year program means that it will be funded during that period from 2016 through 2021.
The budget for the 2017 fiscal year, which runs from July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017, doesn’t include many substantial changes from last year’s budget, Hasler said.
The city spent about $60 million of last year’s $112 million budgeted expenditures. That higher estimate for spending is the result of the budgeting for items like grants prior to the fiscal year that the city may or may not actually receive, Hasler said.
Mayor Christian Price said during the council meeting the budget has gone through extensive revisions in the months-long process.
“It’s a really long process,” Price said. “That’s what’s taken us to this point today.”
Also in the budget, the city anticipates a five-fold increase in parks and recreation fees it will collect from Copper Sky, from $299,500 last year to about $1.55 million this upcoming year, based on increased membership.
The city also expects to collect slightly more in property tax revenue due to increased property values in Maricopa. For the 2017 fiscal year, the city plans to take in $14.73 million in primary and secondary property taxes, up from $14.26 million last year. Tax rates remain the same.