I am thrilled to share with you that, once again, Gilbert has retained its position as having the lowest crime rate of comparable communities in Arizona. Based on data from the initial Uniform Crime Report (UCR), provided by the Tempe Police Department Crime Analysis Unit, Gilbert ranked first in lowest overall crime (19.3 per 1,000), first in lowest persons crimes per thousand (0.9 per 1,000), second in lowest property crimes per thousand (18.4 per 1,000), and had the second highest decline in overall crime as compared to the previous year (-6.8%).
Last week, the Town Council adopted the fiscal year 2013 budget. All funding was assigned intentionally to support the most important services Gilbert offers based on detailed review and prioritization of funding requests. Our team began this process by zeroing out existing funding allocations and rebuilding each department’s budget from scratch. Using a three-year review as a minimum, we analyzed thousands of lines of spending to compare past and existing budgets and spending patterns to current needs. We looked at each individual revenue source for the Town and projected future trends based on a detailed market analysis from private as well as public sectors. We are proud to report that next year’s budget projects that revenues will exceed expenses.
Built upon the foundation of the Town Council’s strategic plan, the fiscal year 2013 budget emphasizes economic development growing us out of the issues we face today, mitigation of current technology risks and moving Gilbert forward to become a technology leader, while maintaining and even expanding our current service levels, as well as retaining and recruiting the best personnel to serve our community.
Great news for Gilbert residents as we look to decrease the Environmental Services fees on our utility bills by 7.5 percent in the next fiscal year. This is a significant statement of our dedication to providing the highest quality solid waste and recycling services at the best rate. Together, we can continue to work together as a community to keep our Town clean and beautiful and to keep our rates low and our services high.
I appreciate Gilbert’s Environmental Services staff for taking the initiative to make some resounding changes that will help us to become more efficient:
• 110K Reduction in Route Miles Driven from 991K in 2009 to 881K in 2011
• Renegotiated disposal contracts and closer transfer stations
• Increase in Recycle Revenue from 775K in 2010 to 918K in 2011
• Maintaining the recycle contract with good return on investment
• Fleet standardization and reduction in redundancy in parts inventory, replacement plan reduced total fleet maintenance cost from 1.9 million in 2009 to 1.25 million in 2011
We could not do this without your help and your dedication to recycling in your homes. I encourage you to continue considering the blue can anytime it can be reused, and our free compost bins to reuse your scraps and green waste. You can learn more about all of the ways to benefit from our Environmental Services programs and keep our costs decreasing at www.gilbertaz.gov/recycle.
Finally, I want to thank everyone who joined Gilbert employees to raise 11,910 pounds of food and more than $5,000, which together equates to more than 33,000 meals to our community. A special thanks to United Food Bank for helping us to distribute the food and to sponsors: Albertson’s for their $3,500 donation, Hunter Contracting for their $1,000 contribution, Polar Ice for offering skate rentals for donations, and all of the businesses and residents who took part. If you did not have a chance to donate, you can continue to help through United Food Bank at http://unitedfoodbank.org.