Hoover mayor presents $132.5 million budget for FY 2020

HOOVER – Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato has introduced a $132.5 million budget that prioritizes traffic management, education, public safety and growing the city’s reserve funds.

Brocato presented the budget for Fiscal Year 2020 to the Hoover City Council at a work session on Thursday, Aug. 29.

The Council has reviewed operating and capital requests, and discussed with department heads the funding they requested.

The Council can approve the budget as presented or work with Brocato and the city staff on changes. Officials hope to have the budget in place by the start of the fiscal year on Oct. 1.

In a message released to social media, Brocato said the budget serves as a guide for funding priorities, and that he has sought to present budgets that are conservative, balanced and on-time.

“Once again, we’ve met these goals, and I look forward to working with the City Council over the coming weeks so that they can adopt a budget prior to the start of the next fiscal year,” he said.

Brocato said he inherited a “healthy” reserve fund, and the new budget would grow the reserve at an even greater pace than in the past by devoting $500,000.

“This is essential to maintain the overall financial health and stability of our city,” he said.

Each year, funding requests from city officials far exceed the amount of money available, Brocato said, and leadership must then prioritize the requests.

“This year, we worked very hard to hold the line on operating expenditures where we could,” he said. “As much as we would like to provide funding for all of these requests, it always comes down to setting priorities and addressing the needs that move our city forward.”

One goal of the budget is to address traffic management.

“We have several projects underway to help ease this burden on our citizens, and this budget will continue to provide significant funding for traffic relief,” Brocato said.

Initiatives include a traffic study for western Hoover, new I-459 interchange land acquisition, adding capacity to South Shades Crest Road, upgrades to the intersection at Alabama 150/Grove Boulevard and technology to better synchronize traffic signal timing.

Another goal is the continued funding of the city’s school system.

“We all know that Hoover’s success as a city has been tied to the quality and success of our school system,” Brocato said.

The budget would provide $5 million in education funding, plus an additional $1,000 per school to fund specific needs identified by school principals.

Public safety staffing will also be addressed by the budget, including expansion of the school resource officer program to cover the new Riverchase Career Connection Center and adding three new dispatchers to the city’s 911 communications center.

Brocato said he wants to continue to work to make Hoover the “employer of choice” for municipal employees.

“We can have the shiniest vehicles and the biggest buildings, but if we don’t provide the best city employees, our community simply won’t receive the best service,” he said.