Budget Review Process
Members of the 108th Session of Wilmington City Council are preparing for the next round of budget hearings to review the City’s proposed fiscal year 2024 general operating fund of $183.1 million, inclusive of no new property tax increase, and the proposed fiscal year 2024 water/sewer fund of $84.2 million, inclusive of a 5.7% water rate increase and a 6% increase in stormwater rates.
Council will review the City’s proposed budget, and during public, televised budget hearings, listen to presentations from each department and ask questions about proposed spending plans. The first budget hearing will take place on Monday, April 3, 2023, beginning at 4:30 p.m., with the following departments presenting their budget to the council: Public Works Department (GF&MF) and Parks & Recreation Department. Budget hearing meetings will continue throughout the month of April, and will be conducted by the council’s finance committee.
The Council’s Finance Committee plays an important role in the budget negotiating process by advocating for the needs of Wilmington residents and overseeing the hearing process. The current Finance Committee includes the following council members:
7th District Council Member Chris Johnson, Finance Committee Chair
4th District Council Member Michelle Harlee, Finance Vice Chair
3rd District Council Member Zanthia Oliver
8th District Council Member Nathan Field
At-Large Council Member James Spadola
At-Large Council Member Latisha Bracy
City Council President Ernest Trippi Congo as Ex-Officio.
Beyond the members of the finance committee, other council members will participate in the budget review meetings.
The Office of Management & Budget is responsible for the development of the City’s annual budget and the six-year Capital Program. This includes conducting budget hearings with all Department Heads and subsequent meetings with the Mayor’s Office Chief of Staff and the Finance Committee of City Council along with the production of all related ordinances and documents, including a comprehensive proposed budget book. In budget meetings and hearings, qualitative analysis by OMB is presented for each department.
OMB also presents the budgeted revenue projections to City Council. After the passage of the Budget by City Council, OMB is responsible for the production of the Budget Book in accordance with GFOA guidelines and the budget award certification process. In addition, OMB plays an integral part of the Bond Rating and bond issuance processes and the formulation of the City’s Official Bond Statement.
How the Budget Works
Reviewing, voting on and ultimately adopting a balanced budget, as stipulated in City Charter Sections 2-300 and 2-303, is one of the most important tasks of the Wilmington City Council. Once the Mayor’s Office releases its proposed budget, members of City Council spend weeks reviewing it, preparing questions and, in many cases, offering suggestions for enhancements. A principal part of this process is our annual departmental budget hearings. Throughout the course of several weeks, every department presents its budget to the City Council, and it is during these hearings that your elected representatives have the opportunity to ask questions, offer suggestions and help to better understand where your tax dollars are spent. At the conclusion of the hearings, City Council and administration leadership engage in discussions to finalize agreement on the proposed budget.
Information on understanding the municipal budget process, and the legal requirements of the City of Wilmington related to its annual budget, can be read by clicking on the CITIZEN’S GUIDE TO THE BUDGET PROCESS, which is compiled by the City’s Office of Management and Budget and included in each year’s budget documents.
The Budget Schedule
FY2024 CITY COUNCIL BUDGET HEARING SCHEDULE
MONDAY APRIL 3, 2023 4:30PM
Public Works Department (GF&MF)
Parks & Recreation Department
WEDNESDAY APRIL 5, 2023 4:30PM
Office of Information Technology
MONDAY APRIL 10, 2023 4:30PM
Office Wilmington City Council
WEDNESDAY APRIL 12, 2023 4:30PM
Public Works Department (WSF)
Presentation Water Sewer Fund 6 – Year Financial Plan/ Public Works (WSF)
MONDAY APRIL 17, 2023 4:30PM
Land Use & Planning Department
Licenses & Inspections Department
Real Estate & Housing Department
WEDNESDAY APRIL 19, 2023 4:30PM
Human Resources Department
Wilmington Police Department
MONDAY APRIL 24, 2023 4:30PM
Mayor’s Office of Economic Development
The City Council must approve a balanced budget by June 1 or 30 days prior to the start of the fiscal year.
Ways to Participate
To connect to live hearings, go to Wilmington City Council’s website, click on the events calendar section, then click the link in the calendar on the day of the hearing and follow the listed instructions. All public budget hearings will be broadcasted on the city council’s website, Zoom, on WITN’s platforms on Facebook or YouTube, online at WITN22.org, on Comcast Channel 22, or on Wilmington City Council’s Facebook and Twitter. All public budget hearings will be archived on witn22.org for replay at any time.
MEDIA INQUIRIES:www.wilmingtoncitycouncil.comYesenia Taveras Director of Communications, Wilmington City Council Office: (302)576-2585 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org City Council Website: