Rehoboth Beach sees big boost in annual budget
REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. – The City of Rehoboth Beach entering its next fiscal year with a significant boost to its budget.
Fiscal Year 2024 starts on April 1st, and with it will come the city’s largest-ever budget. The $35.7 million budget is 18.4% larger than last year’s, and contains more than $10 million in capital improvement projects. Plus, residents won’t see an increase in taxes or utility rates.
“Most of the stuff really relies on existing revenue streams that the city has taken great care of to maintain over the years,” said City Manager Laurence Christian. “A lot of these major projects will definitely help our residents.”
In making its estimates, the city predicts $6 million in revenue from parking meters, $1.25 million from parking permit sales, and $650,000 in meter fines. Metered sewer services are expected to bring in $2.83 million, metered water services $3.8 million, and $1.2 million in transfer taxes.
Within the budget, is a $150,000 traffic and parking study during the summer season.
“The city will be well-postured to incorporate a lot of the existing studies. There’s been discussions in prior history of a parking garage. That information will be taken into consideration. The city is also taking into consideration the ADA study being done by a different consultant,” said Christian.
Christian says the study, combined with feedback from residents and city leaders, will serve as a blueprint for years to come.
Compensation and Classification Study
The budget also allows for a compensation and classification study, which is required every five years.
“It really lets us know about industry standards, emerging trends across local government, across out nearby communities, as well as our adjacent coastal communities in Delaware,” said Christian. “It lets us know what a particular classification for employees should be, job description, metrics associated with it, also for compensation.”
City staff are set to receive a 3% cost-of-living increase. And, the budget provides for two new staff positions, including an administrative assistant in the building and licensing department, and administrative assistant to the city secretary., The city’s payroll administrator will also be reclassified as human resources and payroll manager.
Storm Water Management Plan
Rehoboth Beach also plans to tackle a storm water management plan. With the changing climate, Christian says it’s a crucial data set that needs to be looked at.
“There are a lot of emerging trends going on. The climate changing, and I think we need to be aware of that. This storm water study will help us understand where there are gaps in our current storm water system. We’re going to address those,” said Christian.
Other work relating to water and sewer management ahead includes upgrading the State Road pump station, sewer pipe rehabilitation, and updating 700 water meters on the north end of town.
Capital Improvement Projects
The budget’s capital improvement projects cover a wide variety of needs.
The Baltimore Avenue restrooms and beach patrol headquarters will get a facelift to the tune of $2.4 million. Scarborough Avenue, Laurel Street, and a portion of Rehoboth Avenue will be repaved at $505,000. $383,000 will pay for an LED retrofit of lights in the median of Rehoboth Avenue, and the city will purchase a new trash truck for $170,000.
Other capital items include upgrading bandstand equipment, inspection and cleaning of sanitary sewers, water main replacement on Laurel Street, security cameras, and fence replacement at Grove Park.
Christian says all of this is in an effort to meet residents’ expectations, and make the city an even more attractive place to visit.
“It is impressive, and I think the team here is chomping at the bit to make sure we get after those for the residents of Rehoboth Beach,” said Christian. “All needed infrastructure changes, all needed for our residents, and they need to know that we’re out there hearing them, and we’re working on their behalf to make sure the infrastructure is updated for the residents of Rehoboth Beach.”