A cold rain is falling as I write this post and yet I know spring is just around the corner. What does that mean for a city? Let me share a bit of that with this post.
Spring is Budget Season
Truth be told, it’s always budget season in local government. We are either preparing the new budget, implementing the current budget, or auditing the previous budget. Spring, though, is when budget preparation is in high gear. By this time of the year, the Council has shared their priorities and expectations (Roanoke Strategic Plan) and the various departments have proposed what they believe necessary to meet those expectations. Throughout the spring, senior leadership is briefing the Council on how the current budget is performing and what revenues might look like for the upcoming budget year (January 2019 Budget Briefing) and (February 2019 Budget Briefing). At the same time, senior leadership is working to balance the departmental requests with the anticipated revenues that will be available. This will all culminate in a proposed budget delivered by the City Manager later this spring, a public hearing on the same, and final action by the Council in May.
From Plowing to Paving, Flowers, and Play
With spring, crews begin to relax a bit regarding snow. Though more may fall, at this time of the year it is not likely to be around too long, meaning less mess for everyone to deal with and less overtime. Increasingly, those same crews now have to turn their attention to remedying the damage caused by the winter storms—patching potholes, preparing streets for paving, clearing storm inlets and drainage channels, sweeping streets, and generally tidying things up.
The city’s Forestry crews have begun to place mulch in our parks and are getting planter beds in shape, as the daffodils are just about ready to flower. Staff is readying parks, recreation centers, libraries, and schools for the myriad of summer activities that will come as the school year wraps up. Our folks in Facilities Management have begun to get to those jobs at our various buildings that couldn’t be done during the winter, and are beginning to get things ready to shift from heating buildings to cooling them.
Spring also begins the festival season in Roanoke, starting with the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. From that point forward, our city will play host to festivals, performances, races, conventions, and any number of events taking advantage of our parks, museums, conference centers, and streets. Spring is a great time to begin reminding ourselves just how many wonderful things there are to do in our great city and throughout Virginia’s Blue Ridge.
The rain will clear soon, the flowers will be blooming before we know it, and spring will be upon us. Spend sometime this spring enjoying all that is going on and perhaps take a few moments to remember all those folks working so hard to make it all possible.