Commentary by Chandler Mayor Jay Tibshraeny
On May 25, the Chandler City Council tentatively adopted the 2017/2018 Fiscal Year Budget and the 2018/2027 Capital Improvement Plan.
Final adoption is set for June 8, with adoption of the annual property tax levy on June 22.
The budget, at $934.5 million, represents a 3.8 decrease from last year and a proposed property tax levy reduction of two-cents, down to $1.14 per $100 of assessed valuation.
• A new bus route along Ray Road will be funded and start in west Chandler at 56th street and travel east to Gilbert Road. (Cost: $790,000);
• Improvements to the concession area/train station associated with the popular train in Desert Breeze Park will occur and include replacement of wrought iron fencing, building repairs and painting. (Cost: $180,000);
• A new 10,000 square-foot museum will be constructed next to the current museum by the Chandler Fashion Center (McCullough-Price House). (Cost $6.7 million);
• Bike lanes will be added to Kyrene Road and McClintock Drive from the Loop 202 north to Chandler’s border with Tempe (north of Elliot Road). (Cost: $4.5 million);
• A new bike lane will be added to Chandler Blvd. between I-10 and 54th Street. (Cost: $904,540);
• The pool deck surface at Nozomi Aquatic Center will be replaced. (Cost:part of $500,000 budget for several aquatic centers);
• The medians will be re-landscaped on Rural Road between Galveston Street and Ray Road and along Chandler Blvd between Gila Springs Boulevard and Galaxy Drive. (Cost: part of $500,000 budget for various streetscape and median improvements around the city).
Yes, we still have some challenges that include an unstable global economic environment as well as an underfunded state public safety retirement system. But, at the same time, I remain encouraged that our community continues to move in a good direction.
Chandler’s solid economic foundation is the product of more than two decades of sound financial planning — policies that have been strictly adhered to by those you have entrusted with your hard-earned tax dollars.
I want to thank my fellow Councilmembers who fully understand the impacts of this strategy, and have worked tirelessly on this budget to ensure we remain fiscally strong.
The 2017/18 budget is a solid one, and we again are able to fund road projects, build parks and maintain basic services and infrastructure.
At the same time, we celebrated many successes over this past year (the fiscal year runs July 1 through June 30). We renovated and upgraded several parks, and we continue to construct and widen roads in south Chandler, aggressively maintain and improve others, and have undertaken some critical new utility projects.
We continued to focus on neighborhoods and celebrate residents. My Listening Tour continues, and seems to grow in popularity with each stop. In February, we announced our third annual Neighborhood Excellence award winners and I again hosted my Teen Leadership Academy in March.
We welcomed many new businesses to Chandler including Waymo’s (formerly Google) autonomous vehicle testing site in West Chandler. Rogers announced it will move its headquarters to Chandler this year and Intel announced a $7 billion expansion at its Ocotillo campus, generating several thousand jobs. The business community continues to find Chandler as an attractive place to locate and grow.