The creation of each year's operating budget is a year-long process involving the Apex Town Council, Town staff, and YOU. As a citizen, your input is crucial in helping us set our service priorities.
The annual operating budget gives Apex town officials the authority to collect revenue and make expenditures, depending on the priorities of the council, community, and staff. We welcome your input via email on budget priorities any time throughout the budget planning process (All emails sent to this address are reviewed by budget staff and the full Town Council.)
Current Operating Budget
The fiscal year 2020-21 budget (PDF) appropriates funds to be used from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.
- Total budget (all funds): $149,604,700
- General Fund: 71,134,100
- Electric: 44,030,900
- Water & Sewer: 22,725,900
- Other: 11,713,800
- Property tax rate: $.38, a decrease of $.035 from the current tax rate and a $.0307 increase over the revenue neutral rate of $.3493
- Vehicle fee: $30 ($5 increase from last year)
- Garbage, recycling, and yard waste services fees increase by $0.82/month
- Electric rate: unchanged from last year
- Water rates: unchanged from last year
- Sewer rate: 4.5% increase from last year
Major Projects / Expenditures
Apex Peakway Southwest Connector ($25,000,000)
- This project completes a gap in the Apex Peakway by spanning South Salem Street and the CSX S-Line with a four-lane bridge to connect the existing sections of the Peakway. The existing intersection at South Salem Street will be relocated to a new a four-lane loop road connector. Sidewalk will connect along the Peakway on both sides of the bridge, both sides of the new loop road, and along the north side of South Salem Street. Final design and property acquisition will be complete in 2020. This project is heavily dependent on grant funding to move forward. The town has submitted an application to receive funding for 50 percent of the project from the Locally Administered Projects Program (LAPP).
Annual Pavement Management – Street Resurfacing ($1,821,000)
- The Town is responsible for maintaining over 220 miles of municipal streets with the annual resurfacing contract providing for most of the pavement maintenance needs. Street mileage is growing annually with ongoing development. This annual program addresses deficiencies in pavement condition throughout Apex to prevent issues such as potholes, alligator cracking, and rutting in order to provide a safe and reliable transportation system. The Powell Bill program provides an annual funding allocation from the state based on public centerline miles of road accepted and maintained by the Town, however, current and future resurfacing costs continue to exceed Powell Bill allocations. The $1.82 million allocation for FY20-21 is an increase of $221,000 from FY19-20.
Beaver Creek Commons at Zeno Road Improvements ($500,000)
- This project includes extending a second eastbound lane along Beaver Creek Commons Drive from the bus lane to Zeno Road, adding a new right-in/right-out (RIRO) driveway at the bank outparcel, converting the RIRO driveway at the bank/Panda Express to an inbound only driveway, and installing a traffic signal coordinated with the signal at NC 55.
GoApex Route 1 ($630,000)
- Apex will begin its first transit route in the coming fiscal year when it initiates the GoApex Route 1. The town expects to receive $427,000 in LAPP funding to install 40 new bus stops for the circulator route. Depending on the location of the bus stop, some will include benches, bicycle parking, and trash receptacles.
Chatham Street Improvements ($953,000)
- Work for this project will be in in conjunction with replacement of a water line along Chatham Street. Leveraging the opportunity to complete the sidewalk with the water line replacement increases cost efficiency and limits the disturbance to area residents and property owners. This project will include sidewalk to complete the gap along West Chatham Street between Saunders Street and Hunter Street along with improving the pedestrian crossing at Hunter Street and NC 55. The town has received LAPP funding for 40 percent of the construction costs.
Salem Street Downtown Streetscape & Resurfacing ($300,000)
- Identified as a top priority in the Downtown Master Plan, this project includes resurfacing Salem Street from Hunter Street to NC 55 with the removal of on street parking between Saunders Street and Chatham Street in order to widen sidewalk and provide planting beds, landscaping, and pedestrian amenities. The total project estimate is $2.8 million with $300,000 estimated for design and engineering and $2.5 million for construction.
Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources
Beaver Creek Greenway ($2,435,000)
This phase of the Beaver Creek Greenway connection involves approximately .25 miles and continues from Chapel Valley Lane, under the Apex Barbecue Road bridge, and to the Nature Park. The majority of costs are due to addressing environmental issues associated with the floodplain and wetlands and for construction of boardwalk.
Middle Creek Greenway ($2,128,000)
- The Middle Creek Greenway will provide trail connection from Reunion Pointe’s existing greenway at the southern property line of Miramonte northward to the boundary of Pemberly. The trail will be a mixture of asphalt, concrete, boardwalk and further completes the eventual connection between Apex and Holly Springs.
- Laura Duncan Substation Upgrades ($575,000)
- This project will replace existing regulator controls with modern units capable of being integrated into the SCADA system, and will perform preventative maintenance on existing regulators and upgrade them to accept new controls. The existing equipment is outdated, no longer supported by the manufacturers, and nearing the end of useful life. Upgrading this equipment will improve the reliability of the Town’s system.
Water & Sewer
Middle Creek - Sunset Hills Pump Station Renovation ($1,065,000)
- This project includes renovation of the existing Middle Creek - Sunset Hills Pump Station. The renovation includes installing a new, deeper wetwell that will allow the pump station to serve the area to the northeast including the future school site. Pumps will be updated to carry the additional area flow and meet the new pumping requirements of the new Middle Creek Regional Pump Station.
Salem Street Water Main Rehabilitation ($200,000)
- This project rehabilitates 2,800 feet of existing water line along Salem Street from NC 55 to Chatham Street. The project will clean and coat the existing 6 inch water line under Salem Street which will increase available flow in the area. Work will require the Town to provide temporary water service to customers connected to the existing line while the main line is undergoing rehab.
Western Transmission Main – Phase II ($500,000)
- Phase II of the Western Transmission Main Project includes the following sections: 1,000 feet of 24-inch waterline on Kelly Road from Olive Chapel Elementary School to Kelly Road Park, and 2,500 feet of 24-inch waterline from Kelly Road Park Pump station to Apex BBQ Road. The primary purpose of Phase II work is to provide adequate water flow at a manageable pressure to the entire water system as western portions of Apex, south of Olive Chapel Road, develop and demand grows. This work will also ensure that adequate flow and proper velocities are maintained in the other areas of Apex as growing demand to the west pulls water in that direction.
For more information, view the Town of Apex Capital Improvement Projects map which shows a yearly outline of current capital improvement projects.
You might consider the annual operating budget to be the town’s most important work product. It gives Apex town officials the authority to collect revenue and make expenditures, depending on the priorities of the council, staff, and community.
By June 30 each year, the council is required by state law to approve the budget for the coming fiscal year (July 1 - June 30). Staff begins estimating revenues and expenses for the coming year, and seeks public input beginning in January. Generally by May, the Manager has a draft budget complete for Council’s review and public comment.
Typically, the General Fund includes services that cannot be operated as a business enterprise and rely on tax dollars as their primary source of revenue. Most of the town’s General Fund revenues come from ad valorem (property) tax, and State-collected revenue (such as the state sales tax), permits & fees, restricted & unrestricted intergovernmental revenues, fund balance allocation and miscellaneous revenues.
The Town of Apex operates two major funds as enterprises - the Electric Fund and the Water and Sewer Fund. Enterprise funds operate similar to a business and are self-sustaining with user rates and fees that generate all revenues to cover expenditures.
All expenditures related to day-to-day operations of the town come from the General Fund. Capital projects, such as the construction of roads, parks, and other public facilities, are also budgeted with General Fund dollars. Any expenses related to the maintenance and operation of water, sewer, and electric services come not from the General Fund, but instead from their respective Utility Funds:
- Public Safety: 35%
- General Government: $13%
- Economic & Physical Development: 13%
- Transportation: 13%
- Debt Service: 10%
- Cultural & Recreation: 9%
- Environmental Protection: 7%
The town’s fund balance is much like a savings account, as compared to a household budget. If the town brings in more revenues than expected or spends less than the budgeted expenditures, then at the end of a budget year these differences, or extra funds, become part of this savings account that constitutes the fund balance.
The North Carolina Local Government Commission requires all North Carolina municipalities to maintain at least 8% of 1 year’s general fund operating expenses in their Fund Balance. The town’s policy is to maintain that ratio at 25% as a minimum. From time to time, the Town will use money from fund balance to cover one-time expenses such as specific capital items. The Town evaluates any decision to use fund balance carefully and often plans the use in advance to ensure adherence to the Town’s fund balance policy.
The FY20-21 Recommended Budget includes a fund balance allocation of $2,370,000. This amount includes $750,000 for property at the Cash Corporate economic development site, $570,000 for wetland mitigation for the Richardson Road extension, $500,000 for improvements to the Beaver Creek Commons-Zeno Road intersection, $300,000 for the Salem Street streetscape design, and $250,000 for the Downtown Alley Improvement project.
It is important to maintain a healthy fund balance. Bond Rating Agencies analyze a municipality’s practice of fund balance usage and adherence to their fund balance policy. These agencies have been quite pleased with Apex’s fund balance maintenance:
- Standard and Poor’s rates Apex as AAA (the highest possible rating)
- Moody’s rating is Aaa (the highest possible rating)
These ratings allow the town to borrow money at the most favorable interest rates.