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.
How You Can Participate
- Email your feedback 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.)
- Pre-Budget Public Hearing - December 17, 2019 during Town Council meeting
- Draft Budget Public Hearing - May 19. 2020 during Town Council meeting
Current Operating Budget
- Total budget (all funds): $143,973,600
- General Fund: $65,102,500
- Electric: $43,799,800
- Water & Sewer: $23,493,400
- Other: $11,577,900
- Property tax rate: No change - remains at $0.415 per $100 valuation
- Vehicle fee: $25 (increase of $5)
- Garbage, recycling, and yard waste service fees increase by $1.05/month
- Electric rate increase of 1.65%
- Water rates are unchanged
- Sewer rate increase of 4%
Major Projects / Expenditures
- Annual Pavement Management - Street Resurfacing ($1,600,000) The Town is responsible for maintaining over 193 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 $1.6 million allocation for FY19-20 is an increase of $100,000 from FY18-19.
- Jessie Drive Connection ($1,000,000) This project will connect Jessie Drive to NC 55, providing a major thoroughfare between Ten Ten Road and NC 55 south of US 1. The road would serve development of adjacent industrial and commercial areas and help relieve congestion along Ten Ten Road near the US 1 interchange. In the event of major closures or delays on NC 55 or Ten Ten Road, it would provide an east-west detour. The project’s total estimated cost is $11 million. FY19-20 includes $1 million for planning and design.
- Laura Duncan Road Pedestrian & Bicycle Improvements ($600,000) This project includes roadway improvements to provide bicycle lanes, turn lanes, and an improved pedestrian crosswalk on Laura Duncan Road. An improved mid-block crosswalk will cross Laura Duncan Road on the north side of the Laurel Park Place intersection. The improvements will provide easier and safer access to the park and elementary school. The town has received Locally Administered Projects Program (LAPP) funding for 65 percent of construction costs.
- Pleasant Park, Phase II ($12,500,000) With Phase I construction expected to begin in 2019, the Town will look to issue the second installment of general obligation bonds in 2020. Phase II development will include additional infrastructure, lighted turf playing fields for soccer and lacrosse, lighted playing fields for baseball and softball, tennis courts, shelters, comfort stations, trails, and other amenities.
- Beaver Creek Greenway, Phase II ($2,365,000) Phase II 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.
- Salem Pond Park, Phase III ($1,076,700) Phase III completes the Master Plan for Salem Pond Park. The plan includes the installation of a restroom facility and conversions of the multipurpose field to synthetic turf.
- Fire Station 1 Renovations ($1,500,000) This project includes needed renovations to Fire Station 1 in order to maintain the historic significance of the facility while accommodating current and future fire department operations. It is important for the fire department to maintain its presence on Salem Street due to the frequent and effective interaction with the citizens. This station was initially constructed in the 1930's and has several issues that are in need of attention including roof leaks, direct access to the apparatus bay from the living quarters, additional sleeping space, office space for the company officer, new apparatus bay doors, and general facility updates.
- Smart Grid Meter & Load Control, Phase II ($1,750,000) This project provides an end-to-end solution for wireless smart grid and advanced metering. It will provide the ability to manage and monitor electrical service customers through high-speed, standards-based communications to access real-time data. In addition to advanced metering, this project will provide updated load control devices, thermostats, and street light control hardware. The software consolidates meter data, network, load control, streetlight, and outage and customer portal management under one platform.
Water & Sewer Utility
- Western Pressure Zone, Phase II ($950,000) This work is a continuation of the Western Pressure Zone project for water distribution. The work will consist of constructing a pressure reducing valve station (PRV) at the old Kelly Road pump station site and extending the existing 24-inch main north from the intersection of Apex Barbecue Road/Kelly Road to the previously noted PRV station. The primary purpose of this work is to provide adequate water flow to the developing western portions of Apex south of Olive Chapel Road as 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.
- Pump Station SCADA Improvements ($576,000) This project includes improvements to SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems at each of the town's 32 wastewater pump stations. The improvements will include new remote terminal units (RTUs), pressure transducers, and integration into the town's SCADA program, "Ignition.” These improvements are vitally important in order to phase out older remote monitoring equipment and software.
- Salem St. Water Main Rehab ($600,000) The 2,800 feet of existing water line along Salem Street from NC 55 to Chatham Street is in need of rehabilitation. The project will clean and coat the existing six-inch water line under Salem Street. Work will require the town to provide a temporary water service to customers connected to the existing line while the main line is undergoing rehab.
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:
- 38% Public Safety
- 13% General Government
- 9% Cultural & Recreation
- 8% Environmental Protection
- 12% Economic & Physical Development
- 13% Transportation
- 7% Debt Service
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 FY19-20 Budget includes a fund balance allocation of $2,327,200. This amount includes $1.5 million for renovations to Fire Station 1, and $827,200 toward the Jessie Drive connection 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.