Noblesville council approves flat budget for 2021


The Noblesville Common Council approved the city’s 2021 civil city budget during its Sept. 29 meeting. The budget is just above $81.3 million, with $68.9 million attributable to discretionary operational funds – a zero percent increase compared to the 2020 budget for those funds.

Four guiding principles went into drafting the budget: No increase in the overall city budget to maintain the $1.10 tax rate per $100 of assessed value; no citywide yearly salary increase; no health insurance premium increases for employees; and no new positions, except the four previously created to continue the implementation of the public safety priority NobleAct.


“Flat-lining a budget is very difficult to do in a community like Noblesville that has seen extensive growth, but I believe that holding the line on spending for 2021 is prudent to ensure we manage through this economic recovery period and maintain a strong reserve balance to facilitate future investment and growth,” Mayor Chris Jensen stated. “I want to thank the Common Council for their thoughtful review and support of the budget.”

Jensen said he is committed to making smart investment in critical infrastructure, core services and community projects that will facilitate recovery and growth in pursuit of policy pillars and goals.

“I want to commend our Chief Financial Officer and Controller, Jeff Spalding, and his team along with the rest of the administration for working hard to create a conservative budget to guide us into next year,” councilor Greg O’Connor stated.

O’Connor heads the finance committee.

“It is no easy task developing a flat budget in uncertain times,” O’Connor stated. “This conservative budget will help us as we move in to 2021 and get a clearer picture of our financial future while protecting what we have.”

Some 2021 budget items include 44.6 percent of the budget being dedicated to public safety; $17.4 million for street maintenance and improvements; $8.9 million for new capital investments, such as constructing roundabouts on Ind. 32 at River Road and Ind. 38; 57 percent of the total budget covers personnel expenses, $17.2 million is dedicated to restricted operating funds, including the Motor Vehicle Highway fund and Local Road and Street Fund, which receive state gasoline tax and vehicle excise tax distributions; $10.5 million in property tax levy debt service funds, which pay off low-interest bonds that were leveraged to build projects such as the Hazel Dell/Little Chicago Road corridor, Finch Creek Park, City Hall and the four most recently constructed fire stations; and $3.7 million in restricted capital funds, including the Cumulative Capital Improvement fund, which is funded by state cigarette tax distributions.

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